Series: Game 1 of 3

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 5/2)

Game 1: Friday, May 2
Game 2: Saturday, May 3
Game 3: Sunday, May 4

Rangers 5

(13-16, 5-8 away)

Indians 6

(8-20, 4-9 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 2, 2003

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 103010000 5 6 0
    CLE 01001202 - 6 6 1

    W: D. Elder (1-0)

    L: F. Cordero (1-3)

    S: D. Baez (4)

    Indians' win over Texas nothing ordinary at Jacobs

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Fireworks exploded high above Jacobs Field. Fans stood screaming in the aisles and players exchanged meaningful hugs, high-fives and handshakes.

    At long last, the Cleveland Indians were winners again.

    Ellis Burks hit a two-run double in the eighth inning -- his second of the night -- as the Indians snapped an eight-game losing streak Friday with a 6-5 win over the Texas Rangers.

    "It felt like a playoff atmosphere,'' joked Burks. "That was pretty neat. We haven't seen anything like that for a while.''

    Burks, who brought the Indians within 5-4 with a double in the sixth, did it again in the eighth off Ugueth Urbina as Cleveland won for the first time in 17 games when trailing after six innings.

    Rookies Jody Gerut and Travis Hafner homered for the Indians, who avoided their first nine-game slide since a 10-game skid in 1979.

    "It has been a tough stretch, but the guys hung in there,'' Indians first-year manager Eric Wedge said. "I'm proud of the way they hung in there for nine innings.''

    Alex Rodriguez hit his 10th homer in the first inning for the free-swinging Rangers, who lead the majors with 55 homers but couldn't get simple singles when they needed them.

    Texas blew a chance to extend its lead when the Rangers stranded leadoff doubles in the fifth and sixth.

    "What sticks in my craw is twice we had a man on second and none out and didn't push them across,'' Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "We didn't even come close and it bit us tonight.''

    Dave Elder (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday, got one out in the eighth for his first career win and Cleveland's first win by a reliever. The Indians' bullpen had been the only one in the majors without a victory.

    Danys Baez pitched the ninth for his fourth save and first since April 9. The converted starter had blown his last two save tries and had a 16.63 ERA in his previous five outings.

    Rookie reliever Billy Traber kept Cleveland close with 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

    Traber wasn't involved in the decision, but that didn't matter.

    "Who cares?'' Traber said. "The only numbers we care about are wins.''

    Texas first baseman Rafael Palmeiro went 0-for-3 with a walk and remains two homers shy of 500 for his career. Palmeiro is seeking to become the 19th player to reach the plateau.

    The Indians trailed 5-4 in the eighth when Matt Lawton singled with one out off Francisco Cordero (1-3) and Omar Vizquel worked his way back from a 1-2 count for a walk.

    Urbina came on and Burks hit his first pitch -- just as he did in the sixth against Rosman Garcia -- off the left-field wall. Vizquel was able to beat Rodriguez's relay throw to the plate as the Indians recorded just their second comeback win.

    "I was looking for a fastball and I got it,'' Burks said.

    Before Burks' double in the sixth, the Indians were 3-for-40 with runners in scoring position in their last six games.

    Texas starter Joaquin Benoit blew his chance to make the rotation with a disappointing spring training and made five starts at Triple-A Oklahoma before being recalled earlier in the day.

    The right-hander looked good in his season debut, allowing three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.

    The Rangers scored three unearned runs during a bizarre third inning when the Indians showed why they're struggling.

    Cleveland starter Jason Davis had two wild pitches -- one on a pitchout -- a balk, two walks, and the Indians made an error in the inning.

    Game notes
    Indians are 1-8 vs. AL West teams. ... Rodriguez's homer was Texas' 15th in five games. ... Surprisingly, Palmeiro has never had a three-homer game. ... Gerut hit .344 with four homers and 14 RBIs this spring. ... Rangers RHP Todd Van Poppel will make his first start since Sept. 24, 2000, on Saturday. He has pitched in relief the past two seasons and has been sidelined this year with a strained groin. ... Indians RHP Jason Bere pitched three scoreless innings at Triple-A Buffalo as he recovers from a strained shoulder muscle.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press