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Durbin strikes out seven in Cleveland win

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Chad Durbin is relieved to be starting.

Durbin struck out a career high seven and Ronnie Belliard hit a
two-run double as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Toronto Blue
Jays 2-0 Tuesday night.

"I'm feeling a lot more confident, a lot more comfortable,"
said Durbin (5-4), who pitched out of the bullpen earlier this
season.

He gave up three walkoff homers and had a 7.63 ERA in nine
relief outings, but improved to 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA over three
starts since being recalled from the minors July 22.

Durbin allowed four hits and three walks in seven innings as
Cleveland, second to Minnesota in the AL Central, won for the sixth
time in seven games. He was helped by good fielding plays from
shortstop Omar Vizquel and left fielder Coco Crisp.

"That was great defense," Durbin said. "No doubt they helped
me. A lot."

Bob Howry pitched the eighth and Bob Wickman finished the
five-hitter for his fifth save in six chances. Wickman was
unavailable Monday night when he felt tightness in his upper back
while warming up during a 13-11 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Cleveland (59-55) moved four games over .500 this late in the
season for the first time since 2001. The Indians are 41-29 since
May 27.

Toronto, blanked for an AL-high 10th time, dropped to 1-1 under
manager John Gibbons, who replaced the fired Carlos Tosca on
Sunday. The Blue Jays have lost eight of their last 11.

Toronto starter David Bush (1-3) gave up two runs and eight hits
over seven innings, struck out seven and walked none.

Cleveland went ahead in the second after Ben Broussard singled
and Casey Blake followed with a high chopper off the plate. Bush
fielded it, but lost his footing and Blake was safe with a single.
Crisp sacrificed, and Belliard grounded a double down the
third-base line.

"I hung a curveball with two guys on base," Bush said. "It
was such a bad pitch that I thought he might not swing at it. It
was up around his head, but he lined it down the line."

Durbin escaped trouble in the fourth when Gabe Gross popped out
on a 3-2 pitch with two out and two on.

Vizquel, a nine-time Gold Glove winner, made a diving backhanded
catch of a sharp line drive hit by Vernon Wells in the sixth.
Carlos Delgado followed with a drive off the wall in left-center
that likely would have scored Wells.

"A great play," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We've seen
him do that a lot over the years."

With one out in the seventh, Crisp made a diving catch of a
blooper by Gross.

Howry was helped by good defense, too, when Blake turned Wells'
sharp grounder to third into an inning-ending double play in the
eighth.

"That was real big for us," Wedge said. "Blake had to be
strong with his throw, and Ronnie made a good turn at the bag at
second."

Game notes
Belliard extended his hitting streak to 11 games and has an
AL-leading 39 doubles. ... Toronto fell to 19-38 in road games. ...
Toronto's Eric Hinske went 0-for-4 and is in a 1-for-19 slide.
Gibbons said Frank Menechino will start Wednesday night in place of
Hinske. ... Broussard went 2-for-3 and is hitting .352 (38-for-108)
in his last 39 games.