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INDIANS NOTEBOOK From Jacobs Field



Published: Wed, June 13, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Scoring woes: The Indians are 0-11 when they score three runs or fewer.

Thome milestone: Jim Thome's third-inning homer was the 250th of his career and 10th in the past 16 games. Since May 1, he's batting .333.

Streak: Roberto Alomar's fifth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 14 games, matching his season high. During the streak, he's batting .434 (23-53) with five homers and 16 RBIs.

Stranded: Twice, the Indians left the bases loaded. The most costly inning was the fifth when the Indians filled the bags with one out and produced no runs. After Ellis Burks doubled to send Alomar to third base, Brewers manager Davey Lopes intentionally walked Thome. Marty Cordova popped out in shallow right field and Travis Fryman grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning. The Indians stranded five baserunners in the first two innings, leaving the bases loaded in their first at-bat.

Oops: In the fourth inning, another threat evaporated when Fryman broke from second base with one out on Omar Vizquel's pop-up to shallow center field. Devon White scrambled in to catch the ball and toss to second baseman Ronnie Belliard for the inning-ending double play. "Travis said he looked back and thought it was going to drop in," Indians manager Charlie Manuel said. "That Devon White can really run and he turned on the speed." Vizquel ended the sixth inning when he was hit by a batted ball while running to second base.

Interleague struggles: The Indians have the best lifetime interleague record (42-29), but are 1-3 this year.

Homecoming: Richie Sexson, who drove in the game's winning run with a ninth-inning single, received a warm round of applause when he batted in the first inning. Sexson said he appreciated the reception and would have been surprised if there had been booing. "It's not like I'm Albert Belle and left here as a superstar," the 26-year-old first baseman said. Sexson said connecting here wasn't important so much as winning the game. "Anywhere, whether it's against Cleveland or the Cubs, getting the win is what counts."

Slow start: Indians starter C.C. Sabathia threw 25 pitches in the first inning. Brewers pitcher Jimmy Haynes needed 26 to escape his first frame. "It took me a few innings to get going," Haynes said. In the first two innings, Haynes threw 51 pitches. In the next five, he threw 60. "That's what happens when you start throwing strikes. In the first inning, I wasn't throwing strikes and I was going deep into the counts. But you don't want to make too many mistakes against these guys."

On hold: Left-handed starter Chuck Finley's status remains up in the air. Neck spasms sent Finley to the 15-day disabled list on June 2. He's can be activated Sunday when the Indians close a three-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park, a ballpark that favors left-handed pitchers. Sunday is also the next scheduled start for Sabathia. Mark Shapiro, Indians assistant general manager, says Finley has a hurdle to overcome before being activated -- pitching in a simulated game. Finley said the timetable for his return "is their decision. I'm just trying to move myself along. There are some aches in there, but I know it's going to get better. I could take [a] cortisone [shot] to calm it down, but I'd rather not. I'd rather give it more time to settle down on its own."

On deck: Tribe right-hander Bartolo Colon (5-6, 4.33 earned-run average) will duel Brewers right-hander Allen Levrault (2-1, 3.90) tonight at 7 at Jacobs Field. The Indians say 8,000 tickets are available at the gate. Thursday, Charles Nagy (1-0, 2.92) will make his third start of the season against Milwaukee's Ben Sheets (6-4, 3.15).

Turnpike rivalry: The Indians and Pirates will renew their interleague rivalry this weekend in Pittsburgh. Dave Burba and Jaret Wright are scheduled to start on Friday and Saturday.

-- Tom Williams




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