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Published: Saturday, 6/9/2012

Tomlin lifts Indians past Cardinals

BY PAUL HOYNES
(CLEVELAND) PLAIN DEALER

ST. LOUIS -- The Indians began their first trip to Busch Stadium since 2006 the right way Friday night, as the lefty-loaded Indians, behind the pitching of Josh Tomlin, produced a 6-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Cardinals.

Tomlin (3-3, 4.96) allowed two runs in seven efficient innings. He gave up eight hits with one walk and one strikeout. He needed only 76 pitches.

When Tomlin wasn't pitching, he went 1-for-3 at the plate with a single in the sixth inning. He has two of the Indians' three hits by pitchers in the last two years of interleague play.

Manager Manny Acta used a lineup featuring eight left-handers, including two switch-hitters, against Westbrook (4-5, 4.25). Lefties were hitting .309 (38-for-123) against the former Indian coming into the game. The Tribe's lefties hit only .259 (7-for-27) against Westbrook, but it was enough for the win.

Westbrook, facing the Indians for the first time in his career, allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits in six innings.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the first as Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis hit consecutive singles to put runners on first and second. Carlos Santana's double off the fence in left made it 1-0 as Kipnis stopped at third. Michael Brantley's grounder to second made it 2-0.

Westbrook, who pitched 9 1/2 seasons for the Tribe before he was traded to the Cardinals in 2010, retired eight straight before finding trouble again. Santana started the fourth with a walk. Brantley singled to right to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. It's the longest active streak in the big leagues.

Johnny Damon forced Brantley at second on a grounder as Santana advanced to third. Casey Kotchman's grounder to second made it 3-0.

The Indians made it 4-0 with an unearned run in the fifth. Shin-Soo Choo started the inning by reaching base on first baseman Allen Craig's error. It was one of three errors the Cardinals made on the night.

Singles by Cabrera and Kipnis delivered Choo.

Westbrook is 0-4 in his last five starts.



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