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Blanco 4-for-4; Silva gets first win

4/14/2004

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Henry Blanco and Carlos Silva are enjoying
their new roles.

Blanco emerged as a big hitter Wednesday night, driving in three
runs with a career-high four hits and Silva earned his first win as
a starter for the Minnesota Twins, defeating the Cleveland Indians
10-6.

"It feels pretty good," Blanco, a career .219 hitter, said
after going 4-for-4. "Hopefully, I can do it again tomorrow."

Blanco, pressed into regular duty last week when catchers Joe
Mauer and Matt LeCroy went on the disabled list, scored three runs,
hit a two-run homer off Jeff D'Amico (1-1) in the third inning and
had an RBI double in a three-run eighth. He raised his average 142
points to .364.

Only 14,237 were on hand -- the smallest crowd in the history of
Jacobs Field, which opened in 1994. It was the fewest fans at an
Indians home game since 11,751 were at old Cleveland Stadium on
Sept. 20, 1993.

Silva (1-0), acquired in the trade that sent left-hander Eric
Milton to Philadelphia in December, started for the third time in
132 career appearances. The right-hander gave up three runs and
seven hits over five-plus innings in his second start for the
Twins.

"I like starting now, it is an opportunity," said Silva, who
improved to 9-1 in his career. "I felt strong every inning, but I
lost command and started falling behind hitters."

He left with a 5-2 lead after putting the first two batters on
base in the sixth.

Aaron Fultz got out of that jam by allowing just one run and
pitched a perfect seventh. J.C. Romero pitched a scoreless eighth.

"Aaron was the key, getting out of that," Silva said. "I know
Henry can swing the bat, too. He hit a homer off me once. Of
course, that time he was lucky."

Minnesota closer Joe Nathan came in for the ninth with the score
10-3 and gave up a homer to Victor Martinez, and RBI singles to
Matt Lawton and Omar Vizquel. He was removed for Juan Rincon with
runners on first and second and two outs.

"Joe hadn't pitched in a while and we wanted to give him some
work," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He got plenty."

Rincon struck out Casey Blake for his first career save and the
Twins' first this season.

Lawton and Ben Broussard each drove in two runs for Cleveland.
Broussard put the Indians ahead 1-0 in the second with an RBI
single.

Michael Ryan opened the third with a single and scored on
Blanco's third homer. Cristian Guzman followed with a triple to
right-center and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shannon Stewart.

Two Cleveland errors led to two Twins runs in the fifth, when
Minnesota also ran itself out of the inning.

Blanco singled and took off for second when first baseman
Broussard did not hold him on the bag. He made it safely when
D'Amico's throw was mishandled by shortstop Vizquel for an error.

Guzman doubled home Blanco, then tagged up when Shannon Stewart
hit a fly ball to left field. Lawton's throw to third base hit
Guzman, who scored easily.

Nick Punto followed with a one-out single, but was doubled off
when Doug Mientkiewicz flew out to Lawton in left, ending the
rally.

"We've been catching the ball pretty good, but made too many
mistakes tonight," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It was a
sloppy night."

Lawton's two-out RBI single made it 5-2 in the fifth.

A fielder's choice grounder by Broussard got Cleveland to 5-3 in
the sixth, but doubles by Blanco and Stewart put the Twins ahead
6-3 in the seventh.

Jacque Jones and Lew Ford added RBI singles in the Twins'
eighth, and Corey Koskie hit his second homer in the ninth to make
it 10-3.

D'Amico allowed five earned runs and nine hits over 6 2-3
innings, striking out three without a walk.

"My command was good," D'Amico said. "I might have thrown too
many strikes for them to hit."

Game notes
Guzman's triple was his 58th, passing Hall of Famer Kirby
Puckett for second in Twins history. Hall of Famer Rod Carew hit 90
triples for Minnesota. ... Indians 3B Blake went 2-for-4 and is
batting .423 (11-for-26) during a seven-game hitting streak. ...
Indians DH Travis Hafner went 1-for-3 and is batting .571
(8-for-14) with two homers and six RBI over his last four games.