Tribe Triumph Positive; Belliard's X-Rays Negative

The good news for the Indians is that they bounced back from being shut out on Wednesday night to thump the Texas Rangers, 9-4, Thursday. The better news is that second baseman Ronnie Belliard apparently is OK after a collision with umpire Eric Cooper sent him out of the game and to the hospital.

The Indians' top four hitters went a combined 11-for-19 with seven runs scored and seven RBI to help Jake Westbrook (11-13) get a win on a day when he didn't have his best stuff.

No. 1 Grady Sizemore was 3-for-5 with three runs and two stolen bases.
No. 2 Coco Crisp was 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and one steal.
No. 3 Jhonny Peralta was 3-for-5 with one run, three RBI and a homer.
No. 4 Travis Hafner was 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and a walk.

Meanwhile, Westbrook got an inning-ending double play to wiggle out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth to preserve a one-run lead and four Tribe relievers combined to work three perfect innings as the Cleveland offense put it away.

"The double play was key, the offense and defense were great and the bullpen did what it always does," Westbrook said. "I made some bad pitches, and some good ones. The offense picked me up."

Belliard left with a strained neck after running headlong into umpire Cooper's left hip while chasing a groundball single hit by Alfonso Soriano leading off the sixth. A groggy Belliard was helped off the field by head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff and taken to a hospital for precautionary X-rays, which were negative.

Cooper backpedalled in an effort to avoid the hustling Belliard, whose momentum sent both of them crashing to the ground. Cooper rolled over a couple of times, then got up, rubbing his leg and backside. Belliard, however, didn't move for a couple of minutes, then stood up in a daze.

The inning continued when Sandy Alomar Jr. doubled and Westbrook walked rookie Adrian Gonzalez, before getting Mark DeRosa to bounce into a double play on the first pitch.

Bobby Howry got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth by getting Alomar to hit into a double play.

Westbrook yielded 10 hits and four runs over six innings.

"Jake battled and the offense did, too," said manager Eric Wedge.

Ron Belliard and Eric Cooper are flattened and dazed after the Indians' second baseman ran into the umpire while trying to make a play in the sixth inning.


won at Richmond, 3-2, scoring all its runs on two third-inning homers, including one of the inside-the-park variety by Jose Morban. The Bisons moved back into sole possession of first place in the Northern Division of the International League when Rochester lost at Syracuse. Jason Cooper (.249) hit his 12th homer, a two-run shot and one out later, Morban (.279) got credit for his third on a drive that eluded Braves centerfielder Kerry Robinson. Buffalo got only two other hits. Jeremy Guthrie (11-9, 5.03 ERA) gave up one run over six innings and the Bison's fourth pitcher of the game, Jake Robbins (3.50 ERA) worked a perfect ninth for his 21st save.

CLASS AA AKRON (73-52) lost at home to Altoona, 8-5, despite Jon Van Every (.231) going 3-for-4 with two RBI and hitting a solo homer, his 24th. Brad Snyder (.282), Ryan Mulhern (.339), Ben Francisco (.304) and Anthony Lunetta (.273) all had two hits for the Aeros. Rafael Perez (2-2, 1.54) back in a starting role after seven relief outings, gave up four runs (three earned) over five innings. Adam Hanson (9.00 ERA) yielded five runs (four earned) over the final four.

CLASS A KINSTON (24-29) lost at home to Salem, 4-2. Mike Butia (.245) had one of Kinston's four hits and both RBI. Matt Davis (3-6, 5.94 ERA) lost it in relief, giving up two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Starter Scott Roehl (1.64 ERA) yielded two runs over five innings.

CLASS A LAKE COUNTY (25-25) lost at home to Asheville, 3-1. Chuck Lofgren (5-3, 2.17 ERA) allowed three runs over six innings, striking out seven. Ryan Knippschild (2.92 ERA) worked two perfect and Kieran Mattison (3.40 ERA) one perfect inning. Brian Finegan (.294) had two hits and drove in the Captains' run.

CLASS A MAHONING VALLEY (29-28) returned home after a 13-5 win on the road Wednesday night and was pounded by Batavia, 18-4. P.J. Hiser (.400) and Chad Longworth (.324) each had two of the Scrappers' six hits. Starter Kevin Dixon (3-3, 3.94 ERA) allowed seven runs (six earned) over five innings, but Matt Haynes really struggled. He gave up five runs on three hits and four walks over just one-third of an inning as his ERA went from 3.25 to 4.82. Matt Loberg (3.16 ERA) gave up three runs (one earned) over 2 2/3 innings and Nelson Hiraldo (9.86 ERA) was roughed up again, allowing three runs in one inning of work.

ROOKIE LEAGUE BURLINGTON (21-35) lost at Bluefield, 5-1, to go 1-4 in the five-game series and drop to 5-13 in August. Niuman Romero (.290) had two of Burlington's five hits. Joanniel Montero (0-2, 12.79) was hit hard again in his second start since being promoted from the Indians' team in the Dominican Summer League. He gave up five runs (three earned) on four hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings. Josh Kite (1.23 ERA) struck out four over 2 2/3 scoreless and Jeff Pry (5.71 ERA) fanned two over two scoreless.

Indians Baseball Insider Top Stories