CLEVELAND Bases-loaded Ben is big at the plate



Minnesota visits Jacobs Field for a three-game series starting tonight.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- The more Ben Broussard relaxes, the better he hits.
Broussard hit his second grand slam in four days, this time as a pinch-hitter, sending the Cleveland Indians over the Toronto Blue Jays 6-2 Thursday night.
"I said to myself, 'Just try to get a big hit.' I wasn't thinking home run," Broussard said. "I just relaxed and tried not to swing too hard.
"The pressure is on the pitcher. He's got to throw strikes. He challenged me with a fastball and I just hit it and ran," he said.
Broussard has three slams overall this season, including a shot Monday against the White Sox. He is the fourth player in major league history with two pinch-hit slams in one season, joining Dave Johnson (1978), Mike Ivie (1978) and Darryl Strawberry (1998).
Tribe is cooking
The Indians won for the seventh time in eight games and stayed three games behind Minnesota in the AL Central. The Twins start a three-game series at Jacobs Field tonight.
"We play them 13 times and this is the start of it," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "But this was a good win. That was as big as anything Ben has done this year."
Toronto got only three hits in losing for the eighth time in nine games.
Batting for Josh Phelps, Broussard connected off Vinnie Chulk to highlight a five-run seventh inning. It was Broussard's ninth homer of the year.
Broussard is 6-for-9 with three grand slams and 21 RBIs with the bases loaded this season.
"What a difference a year makes," said Broussard, who entered this season hitting .083 (1-for-12) with the bases loaded. "Back then, it was, 'Oh, man, I've got to drive this guy in.' Now, I look at getting to pinch-hit with the bases loaded as a great situation. It's fun."
David Riske (6-2) pitched a scoreless seventh and Rafael Betancourt finished with two hitless innings.
Blue Jays starter Ted Lilly had a 2-1 lead and got two quick outs in the seventh, but left after Ronnie Belliard extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a broken-bat single.
Losing pitcher
Reliever Kerry Ligtenberg (1-5) then walked Coco Crisp, Matt Lawton and Casey Blake to force in run. The right-hander threw 14 pitches, only two for strikes.
Chulk, who had not allowed a run in his previous seven appearances, then gave up Broussard's slam.
Carlos Delgado put Toronto ahead 1-0 in the third with an RBI single off Cliff Lee. Orlando Hudson made it 2-0 in the fifth with his eighth homer. Crisp hit his ninth home run in the bottom half.

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