Traber Almost Perfect Against Yankees

Cleveland's Billy Traber came within one John Flaherty single of throwing a perfect game. Casey Blake and Matt Lawton provided the offense, and Traber completely shut down the Yankees for nine whole innings as the Indians beat the Bombers 4-0.

Jody Gerut hit an RBI double in the first inning to give Cleveland an early 1-0 lead against Jeff Weaver and the Yankees. He was immediately followed by Blake's RBI single that gave the Indians an insurance run that they wouldn't end up needing.

Just as in his last outing, Weaver allowed some runs early then settled down. After the first inning Weaver pitched six shutout innings allowing just two hits before running into trouble again in the eighth.

Matt Lawton hit a deep solo homerun to lead off the eighth, and Blake's single two outs later chased Weaver from the game. Chris Hammond came in and allowed two more singles to score the Indians' fourth run before ending the inning.

The real story here is the performance of the rookie Traber. Traber used a combination of changing speeds and excellent control to keep the Yankees off balance and off the scoreboard. It wasn't even like the Yankees were hitting the ball right at fielders; they just weren't hitting it hard at all.

The only blemish on Traber's line is a soft single from Flaherty to lead off the third inning. But two fielders choices and a pop out later, and that "threat" was ended.

Traber (4-5) pitched a complete game one-hitter, striking out five to get the win. In his last outing, the young lefthander was knocked around by the Kansas City Royals and didn't make it past the third inning. This was by far the best start of his young career.

Weaver (4-7) pitched well for the second straight start. He took the loss, but lasted 7 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four.

Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano were both held out of the lineup after being hit on the hands by Pedro Martinez on Monday. Erick Almonte started at shortstop and Enrique Wilson started at second base. Jeter pinch hit for Karim Garcia in the ninth, but flew out harmlessly to right field.

The good news for the Yankees is that centerfielder Bernie Williams will, in all likelihood, be back in the starting lineup for Wednesday's game. With all the injuries the Yankees have had to sustain this season, he will be a sight for sore eyes.

David Wells (10-3, 3.85) will take the mound for the Yankees in game two, which is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Cleveland's ace, C.C. Sabathia (8-3, 3.27), will get the start for the Indians.

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