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Indians roll over Tigers behind Burks, Thome

5/31/2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians won the old-fashioned
way, at least for them: they homered early and often.

Ellis Burks and Jim Thome each hit two home runs and drove in
four runs and rookie Chris Magruder hit his first major league
homer for an 11-7 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.

''To come out and score 11 runs like this is big,'' Thome said.
''It was kind of similar to the '95 team where we came out and put
pressure on early.''

The Indians' five homers were a season high, as was their total
of 11 runs. Their previous high for runs was 10, set against
Detroit on April 5.

''You know the saying -- when the weather gets hot, unbutton your
shirt and let it rip. We let it rip,'' Indians manager Charlie
Manuel said.

It was the 20th career two-homer game for Burks and Thome, who
hit the Indians' first back-to-back homers of the season in the
second inning.

Thome hit his 13th homer in the fourth. The 463-foot, three-run
shot off Jose Lima (1-3) gave the Indians a 10-6 lead.

''I tried to be perfect to Thome,'' Lima said. ''There's a
reason he hit 49 homers last year. He's been struggling but you
know he will get hot.''

Burks had four home runs and seven RBI for the series.

''The last couple of weeks have been a struggle for me mentally
and physically,'' said Burks, who was out a week in early May with
a strained hamstring. ''Anytime you get the top of the lineup hot,
it is a good sight.''

The Indians' first four hitters accounted for almost all their
scoring, going 10-for-16 (.625) with nine runs and nine RBI.

The offense made up for a poor outing by starter C.C. Sabathia,
who gave up six runs, five earned, on eight hits over four innings.

''C.C. only threw 50 pitches. He was flat and he was in the
middle of the plate. He didn't have real good command of his
pitches,'' Manuel said.

David Riske (1-2), the third of six pitchers used by Manuel,
struck out the side in the sixth.

Magruder began the barrage of home runs in the second with his
first major-league homer.

Magruder and Matt Lawton singled to open the fourth. Omar
Vizquel drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, then Burks singled to
set up Thome's three-run shot.

''We hit some balls hard tonight. The home runs are good to see,
but we hit the ball consistently. That's the big thing,'' Manuel
said.

The Indians scored five times in the second on a trio of home
runs.

After Magruder homered on the first pitch he saw from starter
Seth Greisinger, Lawton doubled and Vizquel walked. Burks and Thome
then hit back-to-back homers.

Burks' first homer, a three-run shot that just cleared the
19-foot wall in left field, came on a 3-2 count. Thome followed
with a 474-foot drive to center for a 6-1 lead.

Burks led off the sixth with his ninth homer of the season.

Chris Truby led off the third with his first home run of the
season. Randall Simon had an RBI single and Magee hit an RBI double
to make it 6-4.

Truby hit an RBI double and scored on Shane Halter's sacrifice
fly in the fourth off Sabathia to tie it at 6-6.

Greisinger lasted only two innings, giving up six runs on six
hits.

''I'm a little concerned about Greisinger,'' Tigers manager Luis
Pujols said. ''He's given up 10 runs with two outs the last two
outings, and he made almost 60 pitches in two innings.''

Detroit scored in the first after Damian Jackson reached on
Travis Fryman's throwing error, advanced to second on Sabathia's
balk and scored on Dmitri Young's single.

Game notes
The Indians had their first three-homer inning since May 1,
2001. ... Magruder's homer came in his 48th major league at-bat.
... Young extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest by a
Detroit player this season. ... The Indians are now 8-for-51 (.157)
with the bases loaded, with 26 RBI. Last season, Cleveland was
48-for-130 (.369) with 130 RBI with the bases loaded. ... Detroit
returns home Friday for 13 games against Toronto, Boston, Montreal
and Philadelphia, its longest homestand of the season.