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Another strong performance for Westbrook

4/25/2004

DETROIT (AP) -- Jake Westbrook completely dominated the Detroit Tigers again.

After throwing seven perfect innings of relief against Detroit on Monday, Westbrook held the Tigers to two hits in Cleveland's 3-2 win Sunday.

"It's two great performances in a row," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We needed someone to step up today, and he was the one."

Westbrook allowed only a second-inning home run to Carlos Pena
and a seventh-inning single to Bobby Higginson on a grounder that
originally was scored as an error.

Westbrook had retired 27 straight batters over his last three
appearances before Pena's homer with two outs in the second.

"I knew I had to go after them again," Westbrook said. "The
way I pitch, I've got to go after them and get them to hit the
pitches into the ground. They know what I throw, but not when."

Westbrook (1-1) got the start in part because of Monday's
performance, and partly due to injuries.

One starter, Jason Stanford, is on the disabled list with a
strained left forearm. Another, C.C. Sabathia, hasn't pitched since
he was pulled before a scheduled start on April 22.

"He definitely picked up where he left off," Wedge said.
"Detroit is a good hitting ballclub, which makes his performance
all the more impressive."

The right-hander struck out three and walked three in his second
career complete game. He had a complete-game loss against the
Tigers last September.

The Tigers couldn't help but be impressed by the Cleveland
right-hander.

"That's the second time that he's done that to us," said
Detroit's Brandon Inge, who went 0-for-3 and saw his 10-game
hitting streak came to an end. "When we were in Cleveland,
everything he threw was right where he wanted it. Today he was no
different. He didn't leave one pitch up in the zone to me, or to
anyone else that I saw."

The second straight strong performance by Westbrook allowed the
Indians to rest their woeful bullpen. On Friday night, Indians
relievers gave up 11 runs in the sixth inning of a 17-3 loss at
Detroit. On Saturday, Rondell White hit a three-run homer off
reliever Chad Durbin in the ninth inning of a 5-3 Tigers win.

The Indians snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided being
swept at Comerica Park for the first time since May 20-22, 2002.

Cleveland got the scoring started in the third off Detroit
starter Jason Johnson (1-4). After Ronnie Belliard walked with one
out, Ben Broussard drove him in with an RBI double. Broussard
scored on a single by Alex Escobar to make it 2-0.

Gerut made it 3-1 with a homer in the third.

The Tigers cut the lead to one in the seventh. White walked,
went to third on a Higginson's single scored on Pena's sacrifice
fly.

Johnson went six innings, giving up three runs on five hits and
two walks while striking out one.

Before the game, the Indians acquired reliever Rick White from
the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor league outfielder
Trey Dyson. To make room for White, pitcher Jason Anderson was
returned to Triple-A Buffalo. It was the Indians' third
bullpen-related transaction in as many days.

Game notes
Tigers outfielder Alex Sanchez, who pinch ran in the ninth
inning, is expected to return to the starting lineup on Tuesday,
when the Tigers play host to Anaheim. The flu kept him out of the
starting lineup against Cleveland. ... The Tigers' 11 wins this
month are the most since 1999. ... Gerut's homer was the Indians'
first in 30 innings. He has hit nine home runs in 95 career at-bats
against Detroit.