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Indians Win Fight to Finish Against Red Sox

From Associated Press

There is still some bad blood between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians.

Wil Cordero’s two-run homer in the sixth inning Friday night lifted the Indians to a 7-6 victory over the Red Sox in a game at Boston that was interrupted because of two brawls.

Kenny Lofton and Travis Fryman also homered for the Indians, who won for the 12th time in 14 games.

The Indians trailed, 6-5, in the sixth when Red Sox reliever Rheal Cormier hit Jim Thome in retaliation with a pitch in the ribs, setting off the second brawl.

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“I think it was a combination of a grudge and this team [the Red Sox] going through a tough time,” Cleveland Manager Mike Hargrove said. “You hate to see things like this happen because you risk guys getting hurt.”

Benches and bullpens cleared and a wild melee ensued, with Boston catcher Jason Varitek tackling David Justice. Thome and Cormier were ejected.

“I was trying to send them a message but I wasn’t trying to hit anyone,” Cormier said. “The ball got away from me and just ran in on him.”

Jim Corsi (0-1) came on to pitch and gave up Cordero’s second homer of the season to make the score 7-6.

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Cleveland pitcher Jaret Wright set off the first brawl by hitting Darren Lewis in the fifth inning. Lewis stood at home plate and shouted at Wright, who challenged Lewis. Both benches and bullpens cleared and Lewis and Wright were ejected after punches were thrown.

Wright hit Lewis in the head in Game 1 of last year’s division series. Both players were ejected.

Chicago 5, Detroit 0--Mike Sirotka pitched a five-hitter for the first shutout of his career in the game at Chicago.

Sirotka (1-2) gave up three infield hits, walked one and struck out three to post his first complete game since last July 19, when he went the distance against the Indians, and help the White Sox to their fifth consecutive victory.

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Magglio Ordonez hit a two-run homer to back Sirotka, who faced the minimum number of batters through 5 1/3 innings.

The Tigers had runners at second and third with two out in the sixth but the left-hander got Gregg Jefferies to ground out to end the inning.

Willie Blair (0-2) gave up five runs and nine hits in five-plus innings for the Tigers, who lost for only the third time in nine games.

Texas 4, Minnesota 2--Juan Gonzalez hit a three-run homer and Mark Clark gave up four hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Rangers at Minneapolis.

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Gonzalez’s home run was his first extra-base hit in his last 12 games and first homer since Sept. 22 at Anaheim.

Clark (1-2) improved to 7-0 in 11 appearances against the Twins. He had six strikeouts and two walks. John Wetteland got the final four outs for his sixth save in as many tries.

Through the first five scoreless innings, neither Clark nor Twin starter Mike Lincoln (0-3) allowed a runner past second base.

In the sixth, the Rangers’ Mark McLemore led off with a single off shortstop Denny Hocking’s glove, Rusty Greer lined a single to left just over third baseman Corey Koskie’s reach and Gonzalez hit a 397-foot blast into the left-field bleachers.

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Tampa Bay 5, Seattle 4--Randy Winn hit a two-out, eighth-inning homer at St. Petersburg, Fla., as the Devil Rays ran their franchise-best winning streak to six games.

Winn drilled a 3-and-1 pitch from John Halama (0-2) over the left-field fence.

Tampa Bay battled back from a 4-0 deficit by scoring twice in the third and seventh innings. Both innings featured a run-scoring single by Wade Boggs and a sacrifice fly by John Flaherty.

Rick White (2-0) got the last two outs in the eighth, and Roberto Hernandez worked the ninth for his seventh save.

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The Devil Rays tied the longest winning streak by a second-year expansion team. The Houston Colt 45’s won six consecutive games from May 10-14, 1963.

Baltimore 7, Oakland 4--Mike Bordick singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning at Baltimore as the Orioles overcame three Oakland homers to end a six-game losing streak.

The victory took some pressure off Oriole Manager Ray Miller, whose job status appeared to be in jeopardy after a 1-8 trip that left the Orioles with a 3-12 record, worst in the majors.

“I’m sure it’s a big relief for everybody,” Miller said. “Hopefully we can take this and build on it.”

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John Jaha, Matt Stairs and Tony Phillips homered for the Athletics, who have lost eight in a row to the Orioles over two seasons.

With the score 3-3, Lenny Webster opened the seventh with a double against Jimmy Haynes (1-3). Brady Anderson then got a bunt single against Buddy Groom and Bordick followed with a run-scoring single up the middle. After a sacrifice and an intentional walk to Albert Belle, Jeff Conine hit a three-run double.

On Thursday, Bordick’s eighth-inning bloop single broke up a no-hit bid by Tampa Bay’s Tony Saunders.


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