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Published: Friday, 7/24/2009

Huff, Gimenez team up to help Tribe beat Blue Jays


TORONTO - Making his first career start as a catcher was just the thing to keep Chris Gimenez from fretting about his lost passport.

After his RBI grounder helped Cleveland beat Toronto, Gimenez just hoped he'd be able to join the victory party as the Indians took off for the West Coast.

Rookie David Huff won for the first time in three starts, Shin-Soo Choo tripled home two runs and the Indians beat the Blue Jays 5-4 yesterday afternoon.

Pleased with their road series win, the Indians were looking forward to some fun as they packed for the five-hour flight to Seattle.

"Everybody is like 'Yeah, we're going to play poker' and all that stuff," Gimenez said. "I was like 'You guys have fun, I might be hanging out here for a while.'"

The left-handed Huff (5-4) allowed four runs and eight hits in 72/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.

"He does a good job of learning and getting better," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He's being more efficient, working ahead and making pitches when he's behind. I was really pleased with the way he threw today. He should feel good about that."

Gimenez, who had started at first, right and left since joining the team in June, learned he would be behind the plate about two hours before game time. The news was a welcome distraction for the rookie, who had been frantically searching his hotel room before coming to the ballpark.

One thing he didn't have to worry about was working with Huff, his teammate at three minor league levels.

"I couldn't really have had it any better way to break in as a catcher," Gimenez said. "I've been David's personal catcher, pretty much, for his entire minor leagues."

BETANCOURT/TRADE: The Cleveland Indians have traded reliever Rafael Betancourt to Colorado for minor league pitcher Connor Graham, a St. John's Jesuit grad and Bowling Green native.

Betancourt, who has spent his entire seven-year career with Cleveland, learned of the deal after yesterday's game.

In 29 appearances this season,

Betancourt is 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA. The right-hander has given up 25 hits and struck out 32 in 302/3 innings. Betancourt has been primarily a set-up man since joining the Indians in 2003.

The 6-foot-7 Graham has spent the entire season with Class-A Modesto of the California League. The 24-year-old went 7-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 16 starts. Shapiro said the Indians will send Graham to Double-A Akron. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies out of Miami of Ohio in the fifth round in 2007.

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