<
>

Thome homers off Schilling, but Indians shut down

6/30/2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Curt Schilling says he didn't have his best
fastball, breaking pitches or control.

Imagine what he might have done if he had.

Schilling got his major league-leading 13th win -- and first in
four starts -- with a five-hitter Sunday, leading the Arizona
Diamondbacks to a 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Schilling (13-3) cruised from the opening pitch, and got his
first victory since June 8 and first complete game in 16 starts.

"I didn't have much,'' he said modestly. "I wasn't good
whatsoever. They hit balls hard all day -- right at us.''

The right-hander, who hadn't faced the Indians since 1990 in
relief for Baltimore, had a no-decision in his last start after
losing the previous two.

But he got untracked against the struggling Indians, the AL's
worst hitting team, and improved to 8-0 in nine road starts this
season.

Schilling walked one and struck out five.

"It looked like Schilling didn't even work that hard,'' said
Indians shortstop Omar Vizquel. "But he got a couple runs and he
has such good command. He wasn't about to give us anything.''

Junior Spivey homered and the Diamondbacks took advantage of
some early wildness by starter Danys Baez (6-6), who walked four in
the first inning and didn't get through the fourth.

Jim Thome hit his 24th homer and Ellis Burks homered for the
struggling Indians, who went 6-12 in interleague play and 11-15 in
June -- their worst month since April 1993.

Lee Stevens, acquired in the trade that sent Bartolo Colon to
Montreal, played right for Cleveland. It was his first game in the
outfield since Sept. 2, 1998.

Schilling snapped out of his worst mini-drought in nearly two
years with a typical Schilling performance. Averaging less than one
walk per game, he has only walked 13 in 131 1/3 innings.

"Curt's actually pitched much better,'' said Arizona catcher
Damian Miller. "But that just shows how good he is. He can get
away with things when he's not on.''

The Diamondbacks hardly had to swing the bat in the first inning
in giving Schilling a 3-0 lead.

Baez, who came in ranked second in the AL with 47 walks, walked
four of the first six batters, forcing in Arizona's first run.

Finley followed with a broken-bat single to short center, giving
him 20 RBI in 23 games and Schilling a three-run cushion.

"You give Schill an early lead and you're usually pretty
safe,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said.

Baez had both his shortest and worst outing as a starter,
allowing four runs and five hits in three-plus innings.

"Danys got a little frustrated,'' Indians manager Charlie
Manuel said. "He just couldn't put the ball where he wanted.
That's young pitchers. Guys will take steps back. Look at
Schilling, it took him a long time to get where he is.''

Thome strengthened his case to make the AL's All-Star team
against Schilling in the second inning by hitting his 24th homer
and fifth in five days.

Thome, who had never faced Schilling in the regular season,
drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right-center to get the Indians
within 3-1.

"Hitting the home run is special off him,'' said Thome, who got
his first All-Star Game hit off Schilling in 1999.

Arizona, though, got the run back and chased Baez in the fourth
on Craig Counsell's RBI double.

Spivey made it 5-1 by leading off the fifth with his ninth
homer, extending his hitting streak a career-high 14 games. The
shot to center snapped Arizona's 45-inning homerless drought.

Burks opened the ninth with his 14th homer to make it 5-2.

Game notes
The Diamondbacks went 11-7 against the AL. They were
outhomered 13-2 while going 3-3 on their trip to Houston and
Cleveland. ... Thome matched the club record he shares with four
others with his second five-game homer tear. He also did it last
June 9-14. Sandy Alomar Jr., Hall of Famer Larry Doby and Al Rosen
(twice) are the only other Cleveland players to homer in five
straight games. ... Nicholas Vizquel, Omar's 6-year-old son, was
struck but uninjured by a foul ball in the fourth inning while
sitting in the dugout. ... Spivey's hitting streak is currently the
majors' longest. He's batting .327 (15-for-52) during the streak.