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Streaking Indians collect fifth straight victory

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Aaron Boone rounded third, looked up and saw a
welcoming party near the plate. This wasn't October or Yankee
Stadium or legendary, but for the struggling Boone, the moment was
special.

Stuck in a season-long slump, Boone homered leading off the 11th
inning and the Indians rallied for a 7-6 victory over the lowly
Colorado Rockies to extend their winning streak to a season-high
five games.

Boone fell behind 1-2 against Blaine Neal (1-2) before pulling
his seventh homer over the wall in left. The shot wasn't nearly as
magical as Boone's series-winning homer in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS
for the New York Yankees, but it finally made him feel welcome in
Cleveland, where he has been booed most of the season.

Boone, who entered the game hitting just .184, was mobbed by his
bouncing teammates when he finally touched the plate.

"That's the kind of beating you enjoy," he said. "You don't
mind it. It means you've done something good."

There hasn't been much for Boone, who missed all of last season
after undergoing knee surgery, to feel good about.

"I certainly feel better about where I am now than I did a few
weeks ago," said Boone, batting .371 in his last 10 games. "I've
been feeling good at the plate and I feel I've been swinging the
bat a lot better."

The surging Indians have won eight of nine and improved to 16-7
since May 20.

"It feels good, especially to do it when we're staring to play
much better as a team," Boone said. "I feel like we're catching
our stride. I am, too."

Bob Howry (4-1) pitched one inning for the win and Cleveland's
relievers combined for 7 2/3 shutout innings with 13 strikeouts.

Jhonny Peralta hit a one-out homer in the ninth off Colorado's
Brian Fuentes for the Indians, who trailed 6-2 in the fourth but
kept chipping away and improved to 18-0 when scoring at least six
runs.

"One pitch got away, that's the hardest part," Fuentes said.
"I was ahead in the count but he put a good swing on it."

The Rockies dropped to 4-25 on the road this season.

With the Indians down 6-5, Peralta was behind 0-2 against
Fuentes and fouled off two more pitches before driving his seventh
homer -- and first since May 17 -- the opposite way over the wall in
right-center to tie it at 6.

Colorado starter Joe Kennedy, whose days pitching with the
Rockies could be numbered, was in line to get the win before
Peralta's clutch homer.

Pitching for the first time since June 6, Kennedy got some
unexpected early support from the Rockies, who roughed up C.C.
Sabathia. Kennedy has been mentioned in recent trade talks with
several teams, including the Dodgers and Oakland Athletics, who are
both in the market for a starting pitcher.

The left-hander didn't dazzle any scouts on hand, allowing five
runs and seven hits in five innings.

Garret Atkins and rookie Ryan Shealy drove in two runs apiece
for the Rockies.

The Rockies tagged Sabathia for six runs -- five in the third
inning -- and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was the left-hander's
shortest outing in 26 starts dating to July 5.

Sabathia needed just 23 total pitches to get through the first
two innings before he seemed to lose his focus while laboring
through 36 pitches in the third, when Colorado scored five times on
six hits.

Casey Blake gave the Indians a 2-0 lead in the second with his
eighth homer.

Game notes
The Indians are 9-2 in interleague play. ... The game was
delayed 52 minutes by rain in the sixth. ... Rockies RF Luis
Gonzalez made two nice catches, crashing into the wall to rob
Ronnie Belliard in the fifth and sliding into the corner to rob
Boone of extras in the second. ... Indians RHP Kevin Millwood was
activated off the DL and will start Thursday's series finale. RHP
Jason Davis was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. ... If they don't
start winning away from Coors Field soon, the Rockies could
threaten the record for fewest road wins in a season. The 1963 New
York Mets, regarded as one of baseball's worst all-time squads, won
just 17 road games. ... The Rockies, who have nine players on the
disabled list, matched a club record by starting six rookies on
Tuesday.