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Westbrook holds BoSox to six hits

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Victor Martinez followed the ball's trajectory,
and even when it cleared the wall, Cleveland's catcher couldn't
believe his eyes.

"I was rounding the bases," Martinez said, "and I thought,
'Oh, my God, I just hit a home run off Curt Schilling."

Martinez's two-run homer in the first inning off Schilling stood
up when Jake Westbrook pitched six shutout innings and Cleveland's
bullpen came through in a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday
night.

Westbrook (2-1) strengthened his case to earn a permanent spot
in Cleveland's rotation by holding the Red Sox to six hits and
outdueling Schilling (3-2).

Cleveland has a surplus of starters, and with Jason Stanford set
to return from the disabled list, manager Eric Wedge has some
decisions to make.

Westbrook apparently made one for him, giving up just two runs
and eight hits in his last 22 innings. Using his sinker to
perfection, the right-hander got 13 outs on groundballs as the Red
Sox lost their fourth straight.

"Jake obviously deserves to be in the rotation," Wedge said.

And Westbrook plans to stay there.

"I want to start, but I'll pitch wherever they need me," said
Westbrook, who has bounced between the rotation and bullpen his
entire career. "It felt good to go out there and put up six
zeros."

Schilling didn't have his best stuff, but other than giving up
Martinez's homer, the right-hander pitched well enough to win. He
allowed two runs and seven hits, walked one and struck out six.

He passed Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Warren Spahn for 20th on
the career strikeout list with 2,587.

"Jake pitched a great game, but we've got to win games like
this," Schilling said. "It was one of those where if you score
two, I've got to give up one. You score three, I've got to give up
two."

The Red Sox stranded 13 runners and have lost four straight for
the first time since July 30-Aug. 2 last season.

"Anytime this team loses four in a row," Johnny Damon said,
"there is something terribly wrong."

For the Indians, that had been the case with their bullpen.

But for one of the few times this season, Cleveland's relievers
avoided a late-inning collapse.

David Riske, the club's deposed closer, walked two in the
seventh inning before Rick White came on. David Ortiz followed with
an RBI double to deep center that probably should have been caught
by Alex Escobar on the warning track.

But after walking Manny Ramirez to load the bases, White struck
out Brian Daubach and Jason Varitek to keep Cleveland up 2-1.

"That was fun," said White, who stuck with his curveball and
struck out two more in the eighth. "We're coming around. Guys are
starting to believe in themselves."

Rafael Betancourt took over in the ninth. He gave up a leadoff
single to Damon, who stole second on a strikeout and went to third
on catcher Martinez's throwing error.

With Cleveland's infield playing in, Betancourt got Ortiz to hit
a hard grounder to second for an out. He then walked Ramirez before
getting Daubach to fly to left for his first save -- and just the
Indians' third in nine tries.

Wedge juggled his batting order for Schilling, moving Martinez --
primarily his No. 6 hitter -- into the cleanup spot for the first
time this season.

The move paid off immediately as Martinez followed a two-out
single by Jody Gerut with his fifth homer, a shot into the lower
deck in right on Schilling's first pitch.

"It came down to one pitch," said Schilling, who grooved a
fastball. "I knew what pitch I wanted to make, and I went away
from it. The ball to Martinez is the one I want back."

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the fourth but
couldn't push a run across against Westbrook.

Daubach reached on shortstop Omar Vizquel's error and Varitek
and Kevin Millar followed with singles. But Westbrook got out of it
by making Mark Bellhorn ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double
play.

Game notes
The Red Sox lead the majors with 222 LOBs. ... Betancourt's
save was the second of his career. ... Before Martinez homered, 17
of the Indians' 21 homers this season had been solo shots. ... The
Red Sox are 0-4 in May for the first time since 1988. ... As usual,
Ramirez heard some boos every time he came up. Ramirez spent his
first eight seasons in Cleveland and still ranks among the club's
career leaders in most offensive categories. ... Vizquel already
has six errors, more than he had in all of 1998 and 2000, and
equaling the nine-time Gold Glove winner's total in 1994.