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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2003

Pitchers stop Tribe streak

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

CLEVELAND - Brian Anderson wasn't about to let the Cleveland Indians' lose again.

The 30-year-old left-hander allowed seven hits and two runs in six innings as the Tribe snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Anderson, who blanked Baltimore in his first start a week ago, walked two and struck out two while improving to 2-0.

The game at chilly Jacobs Field attracted just 14,841 fans - the smallest crowd in the stadium's 10-year history.

“Brian Anderson did a terrific job tonight,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He worked six very strong innings.”

Jose Santiago and closer Danys Baez combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief as the Indians snapped Chicago's four-game winning streak. Baez earned his third save with 12/3 innings of work.

“The bullpen did an excellent job, especially Danny,” Wedge said. “He has really picked us up lately.”

Anderson, who spent the last five seasons playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks, won his first outing with Cleveland at the Jake since the 1997 World Series.

“I really didn't feel that great out there, but my teammates played great defense behind me and we got some timely hits,” Anderson said. “It was a complete team effort that we're going to need this year in order to be successful.”

Anderson has allowed just two earned runs in 14 innings this year - a 1.29 ERA. He didn't register his second win last year until June18.

“Brian did a real good job of mixing up his pitches tonight,” Wedge said.

Rookie second baseman Brandon Phillips hit his first major league homer off White Sox right-hander Jon Garland (0-1) in the fourth inning. In the seventh, Phillips added a double, stole third and scored on a short sacrifice fly to center for the Indians.

“The home run was a lovely feeling,” said Phillips, who later got his souvenir ball when the Indians traded a signed bat and ball to the fan who had the ball. “I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was running around the bases.”

The Tribe also got outstanding defensive plays from center fielder Milton Bradley and Casey Blake. Bradley threw out D'Angelo Jimenez at the plate to end the third, and Blake made a diving stop at first base to end the seventh.

Bradley turned Magglio Ordonez's fly out into an inning-ending double play by throwing a one-hop strike to catcher Josh Bard.

“I got in good position and had my momentum going the right way,” Bradley said. “At first I thought the ball had slipped off my fingers because it was so cold, but it ended up being right on the money. Josh did a great job of catching the ball and getting the tag down quickly.”

The Indians collected six hits and five runs off Garland, who is 1-6 with a 8.71 ERA in eight appearances against Cleveland.

But Anderson was the story on this night. He grew up an Indians fan in Geneva, Ohio, and pitched for the Tribe in 1996 and '97. After going 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in six postseason games for Cleveland six years ago, the Indians chose not to protect him in the expansion draft, and Arizona selected him with the second pick.

Anderson was 41-42 with a 4.52 ERA with Arizona and won a World Series ring. He signed a one-year contract with the Indians for $1.5 million in the off-season after earning $5.375 million last season with the Diamondbacks.

“The money was secondary,” he said. “If I do my job well, I'm sure there will be an opportunity to keep pitching here.”



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