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Sabathia sharp, Mets' D not

NEW YORK (AP) -- C.C. Sabathia is confident the wins will come
more frequently if he has more outings like the one he had against
the New York Mets.

"I felt awesome ... my stuff was great," the 6-foot-7
left-hander said. "My fastball was exploding out of my hand. I
just tried to stay calm and not overthrow."

Sabathia allowed one run and six hits in eight impressive
innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 9-1 victory Wednesday
night.

"I want to be the guy that pitches in big games," Sabathia
said. "I want to take the ball and win games for this team."

Sabathia (4-3) shut down the Mets a night after they had 14 hits
in a 7-2 win after firing batting coach Denny Walling. He struck
out three and walked one, helping the Indians win for the ninth
time in 12 games -- and move within a game of .500 at 31-32.

"We've been at one under before this season and we're there
again," outfielder Coco Crisp said. "Hopefully we'll make it
happen this time."

Sabathia lowered his ERA to 2.95, and has won his last two
decisions.

"He's finally been able to get a couple of wins," manager Eric
Wedge said. "He's pitched well all year with not a lot to show for
it, as far as wins."

Rick White pitched the ninth to complete the six-hitter.

"Sabathia had good stuff tonight -- 97 (mph), changed speeds on
his fastball and had a good changeup," Mets manager Art Howe said.
"But we had a bad night defensively, no doubt. It wasn't a
performance you send home to momma."

Casey Blake hit a two-run homer, and Omar Vizquel and Victor
Martinez each drove in two runs for the Indians. Sabathia also had
one of Cleveland's 14 hits, a single in the second inning.

"I'm more excited about that than anything else," he said with
a big smile.

Leading 2-1, the Indians broke it open with three runs in the
sixth.

Blake led off with a double, went to third on Jody Gerut's
single and scored one out later on a wild pitch by Matt Ginter
(1-1).

Crisp followed with a grounder to the mound that Ginter fielded,
but threw high to Mike Piazza -- pulling the first baseman off the
bag. First-base umpire Mike DiMuro ruled Crisp was safe, bringing
Howe out of the dugout. After a few minutes of arguing, Howe was
tossed by DiMuro.

"Two close plays called against us cost us three runs," Howe
said. "Mike came off the bag, but got his foot back on the bag.
I'm sure."

Mike Stanton came in and struck out Sabathia, but walked Matt
Lawton to load the bases and gave up a two-run single to Vizquel
before getting Travis Hafner on a flyout to end it.

Ginter allowed five runs -- three earned -- in 5 1-3 innings for
the Mets, who made three errors as their modest two-game winning
streak was stopped.

"My control was there," he said after his first major league
loss. "They hit some good pitches. I just needed to go out there
in the sixth and go 1-2-3. I didn't make it happen."

Martinez hit an RBI double -- his second of the game -- in the
ninth. The Indians scored again on a wild pitch by Tyler Yates, and
Blake made it 9-1 with his ninth homer.

The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first on Martinez's RBI
double.

"That was awesome," Sabathia said. "We scored the run right
off the bat and it gave me the confidence to just go out and throw
strikes."

Cleveland added another run in the fourth when Crisp beat out a
double-play grounder, allowing Gerut to score.

Gerut hit a one-out double and Ronnie Belliard singled to put
runners on first and third. Crisp followed with a grounder to short
that Kaz Matsui fielded and flipped it to Ty Wigginton for the
force out, but Crisp barely beat the second baseman's throw to
first. Howe came out and briefly discussed the call with DiMuro.

"There's no doubt the calls were missed," Howe said.

Cliff Floyd pulled the Mets to 2-1 with a sacrifice fly that
scored Matsui in the bottom of the inning.

Sabathia got in trouble in the fifth, when the Mets had runners
on second and third with one out, but he struck out Ginter looking
and retired Gerald Williams on a groundout.

"He was all right," Mike Cameron said of Sabathia. "We hit a
few balls at people, but today, we just gave them too many runs."

Game notes
Martinez's double in the first extended his hitting streak
to a career-high 14 games. ... Lawton extended his hitting streak
to 13 games with a single in the first. ... The Mets placed catcher
Vance Wilson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right
hamstring, and purchased the contract of catcher Tom Wilson from
Triple-A Norfolk. Wilson pinch hit in the seventh and grounded out.