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TORONTO 7, CLEVELAND 3

8/29/2003

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Kelvim Escobar made quite a comeback, and so
did the Toronto Blue Jays.

Escobar (10-8) bounced back from his worst outing of the season
to pitch four-hit ball over eight innings and Toronto overcame a
three-run deficit to defeat the Cleveland Indians 7-3 Friday night.

Mike Bordick and Josh Phelps each hit a two-run homer and Carlos
Delgado had a season-high four hits for the Blue Jays, who won for
the second time in six games.

"I knew I had to come back strong," said Escobar, who was
roughed up for nine earned runs and 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings in a
17-2 loss to Oakland on Sunday.

"I think my changeup was key tonight. They're a young team and
I know young players can hit the fastball. I had to mix it up a
little."

Escobar walked two and struck out four to improve to 7-1 on the
road. Jason Kershner worked a perfect ninth.

Josh Bard's three-run homer in the second inning accounted for
the Indians' runs.

"Then I got mad," Escobar said. "I made a bad pitch and I
knew I had to find a way to stop it right there."

Escobar retired the next 14 in a row.

C.C. Sabathia (12-8) lost for the first time in four starts. The
left-hander gave up six runs and 10 hits over six innings and
didn't get any groundball outs.

"Everything was up and over the middle," said Sabathia, who
walked two and struck out six.

The Blue Jays threatened early before pounding Sabathia in a
five-run fifth.

Reed Johnson singled and scored when Bordick hit the first pitch
he saw into the left-field stands for a two-run homer, his fourth.

"Bordick set me up," Sabathia said. "He took the first pitch
the first two times up. With runners on base, I wanted to get ahead
in the count and he jumped all over it."

Vernon Wells then singled to right-center and scored on a double
down the right-field line by Delgado to tie it at 3. It was
Delgado's AL-leading 120th RBI.

One out later, Phelps lined a fastball for a two-run homer to
left, his 14th, for a 5-3 advantage.

"I like fastballs," Phelps said. "But I don't like it when
that big guy is throwing hard and painting the outside corner with
his changeup. I knew I couldn't hit that anyway, so I looked for
the fastball."

Johnson added a sacrifice fly in the sixth and rookie Kevin Cash
had an RBI double off reliever Jack Cressend to make it 7-3 in the
eighth.

Sabathia did work out of three jams.

He yielded a double to Johnson and walked Bordick to start the
game, then made quick work of Wells, Delgado and Bobby Kielty -- who
came in with a combined 75 homers and 270 RBI. The left-hander
struck out Wells, got Delgado to fly out to left, and finished it
by retiring Kielty on an infield pop.

"That's one tough lineup," Sabathia said. "In that inning, I
was getting the ball inside. I tried to do that later and left them
out over the plate instead."

Sabathia also got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth and
started a double play to end the sixth.

Bard put the Indians ahead 3-0 with a three-run homer in the
second -- a 429-foot shot to right for his fifth of the season and
second in two nights.

"It was a 3-2 fastball, the only mistake he made," Bard said.
"He didn't want to walk me."

Escobar then retired 14 straight before Ryan Ludwick opened the
seventh with a broken-bat single. Matt Lawton promptly hit into a
double play to end Cleveland's comeback hopes.

Game notes
Sabathia came in with a 0.75 ERA in two previous career
starts against Toronto. ... Wells has hit safely in 38 of his last
42 games. ... Escobar had not faced Cleveland since Aug. 21, 2002,
when he pitched a shutout at Jacobs Field. ... Kielty came in
batting .389 (7-for-18) with two homers in his career against
Sabathia, but went 0-for-3 against the lefty. ... Indians OF Coco
Crisp went 0-for-4, ending his 11-game hitting streak. ... Phelps
has 12 RBI in his last 14 starts. ... Delgado's four-hit game was
his first since May 10, 2002, at Oakland.