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Mueller rebounds from errors to homers

5/5/2004

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Bill Mueller had no reason to sit at his locker
and brood Wednesday night.

Mueller hit a tiebreaking three-run homer and David Ortiz homered
twice as the Boston Red Sox broke a five-game losing streak with
a 9-5 win over the Cleveland Indians.

"Tonight, I was very fortunate that the ball I hit carried and
gave us a cushion," said Mueller, who blamed himself for a 7-6
loss the previous night when he made two crucial throwing errors.

Mueller sat alone at his locker for 45 minutes after that loss,
but he was much more upbeat Wednesday.

"This club knows it is going to perform," Mueller said.
"Hopefully, this is the start of what we're capable of doing."

Bronson Arroyo (1-1) gave up one hit and struck out three over
two scoreless innings of relief for the win -- snapping Cleveland's
four-game winning streak.

Mueller snapped a 5-5 tie with his homer off reliever David Riske in the sixth inning.

It was just his fourth hit in 32 at-bats with runners in scoring
position this season. The defending AL batting champion was dropped
from second to eighth in the order Tuesday night by manager Terry
Francona, and he has gone 4-for-7 since to move his average up to
.257.

"If he had been hitting second, he'd probably have gotten hits,
too," Francona said. "I just did it because I thought it would
relax him a little."

Ortiz connected twice and drove in four runs against Jeff D'Amico (1-2) to give the Red Sox a rare early lead.

"I thought both of them were fairly decent pitches," D'Amico
said. "That's the way it is going for me right now."

Ortiz, just 3-for-21 (.143) in his previous five games, hit a
high drive just inside the right-field foul pole in the first
inning for a 1-0 lead.

"I was saying, 'Stay fair,' " Ortiz said. "I hit a good pitch,
the kind you want to throw to a lefty."

The Red Sox got five hits in a four-run third highlighted by
Ortiz's seventh homer, a three-run shot with two outs. Kevin Millar added an RBI single later in the inning for a 5-3 lead.

When Cleveland only scored once in the bottom half, it meant the
Red Sox led after a complete inning for the first time in 40
innings -- since the seventh inning of the first game of a
doubleheader Saturday in Texas.

But Cleveland scored once in the third when Red Sox starter
Byung-Hyun Kim hit a batter, gave up one single and made one
of three Boston errors in the inning.

Kim allowed four earned runs and six hits over 3 1/3 innings.

Cleveland took a 2-1 lead in the first on Omar Vizquel's second
homer, a triple by Jody Gerut and a sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez.

Two more hits and a sacrifice fly by Matt Lawton made it 3-1 in the Indians' second.

Lawton doubled to finish Kim and scored on Vizquel's single off
reliever Mark Malaska to tie it at 5 in the fourth.

"The big ball hurt us tonight," Indians manager Eric Wedge
said. "I like the way we came back and tied it. I thought Jeff,
except for a couple of pitches, did some good work, too.

"And I thought Riske, except for one pitch, was aggressive and
better than he has been."

Boston added an unearned run in the ninth.

D'Amico gave up seven runs and seven hits in five-plus innings.

Game notes
The Red Sox will seek a series split Thursday night when
Pedro Martinez (3-2, 4.17 ERA) faces C.C. Sabathia (1-0, 1.61 ERA). It will be Sabathia's first time opposing the Red Sox's six-time All-Star. ... Ortiz had his ninth multihomer game and had a career-high four RBI for a ninth time. ... D'Amico is 0-4 with an 8.67 ERA in five career starts against Boston. ... The Red Sox left six runners on base after stranding 229 in their first 26 games. ... Riske has allowed at least one run in seven of 10 appearances. He has a 12.10 ERA and given up four homers in 9 2/3 innings overall. ... Arroyo's win was his first since Aug. 29, 2002, when he was with Pittsburgh.