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INDIANS NOTEBOOK From Jacobs Field



Published: Tue, September 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Magic numbers: With 18 games to play, the Indians' magic number for clinching the A.L. Central remained 13 (Indians wins plus Twins losses). In the race for home-field advantage among division winners, New York has a magic number of 15. The division winner with the second-best record will open the playoffs against the wild-card team (almost certainly the Oakland Athletics). The third-best division winner will open against the top-seeded Seattle Mariners. Indians first baseman Jim Thome said the Tribe isn't thinking about catching the Yankees. "Our main thing is to just get in. From there, we'll figure out what happens when that time comes."

Hot Juan: Indians right fielder Juan Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a third-inning single. Gonzalez was named American League Player of the Week after driving in 18 RBIs last week. That's the most RBIs in a week for an American Leaguer since Manny Ramirez had 18 in September 1998. In seven games, Gonzalez batted .379, hit four homers and had 26 total bases. It's the fourth time Gonzalez has been AL Player of the Week.

Thome's favorite opponent: Thome has 33 homers and 87 RBIs against the White Sox, the most he has accumulated against any opponent.

Rotation change: Manuel says Ryan Drese (1-0, 3.00) has replaced Dave Burba (10-10, 6.41) in the rotation and will pitch Wednesday against Kansas City's Paul Byrd (6-6, 4.05). Thursday, rookie C.C. Sabathia (15-4, 4.62) goes for his 16th win against Kris Wilson (6-4, 4.96).

-- Tom Williams




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