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Tribe streaks to sixth straight



Published: Fri, June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Kevin Millwood finally got his 100th career victory in a 2-1 win over Colorado.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Two drained bottles of champagne sat atop a cart as Journey's "Don't Stop Believin"' blasted through the clubhouse speakers.

Kevin Millwood finally got to host a party he'd been planning for months.

Millwood got his 100th career victory and the Cleveland Indians pushed their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 2-1 win and series sweep of the Colorado Rockies Thursday night.

Five shutout innings

Millwood (2-4) pitched five shutout innings in his first start since May 25 when he pulled a groin muscle against Minnesota, and went on the 15-day disabled list. The right-hander, who won 98 games with Atlanta and Philadelphia, gave up four hits before being pulled after 85 pitches.

"It's a real thrill," Millwood said of hitting the century mark. "It's something that I've been gearing up for all season."

As for the champagne, Millwood was wondering if it was ever going to get popped.

"It's been on ice for a while," he said with a smile.

Rockies road woes

Colorado dropped to 4-26 away from Coors Field, and its road woes have reached record proportions. Since 1900, only six teams, including the Tampa Bay Devil Rays earlier this season, have gone 4-26 in their first 30 road games.

Their frustration was exemplified by shortstop Desi Relaford, who slammed down his bat when he was called out looking for the final out by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi.

"That was the worst call I've ever seen," Relaford said. "And when he sees the tape, he'll see the same thing. It wasn't even close."

Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp had RBIs off Jamey Wright (4-6) for the surging Indians, who have won nine of 10 and are 17-7 since May 21.

Bullpen tough again

Cleveland's bullpen, which entered with the AL's second-lowest ERA (3.56), came through again after Millwood left. Scott Sauerbeck, Bob Howry, Arthur Rhodes and Bob Wickman combined to hold the Rockies to one run and three hits over the final four innings. Wickman worked the ninth for his 18th save.

The Rockies put the tying run on second with none out, but Wickman got Ryan Shealy on a grounder before Jorge Piedra hit a liner that Crisp caught with a slide. Wickman then struck out Relaford as the Indians, who weren't winning tight games a few weeks ago, improved to 11-16 in one-run games.

"We're starting to have fun," Millwood said. "We're moving runners over. We're scoring when we need to. One run an inning is better than none. We're finally starting to click a little bit."

Good defensive plays

Indians second baseman Ronnie Belliard and right fielder Jody Gerut helped Millwood reach the 100-win plateau with excellent defensive plays.

Shealy hit his first major league homer, a solo shot in the seventh to make it 2-1. One out later, Gerut raced to his left and fully extended to make a diving grab on a ball hit by Relaford.

Millwood was noticeably rusty in the first when the Rockies loaded the bases on a single and two walks. But Millwood fought his way through, needing 33 pitches to get out of the inning without giving up a run.

He got a double play to get out of trouble in the second, then escaped from a two-on, one-out situation in the fifth when Belliard atoned for an error moments earlier with a backhanded stop to start a double play.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the third, and as has been the case for weeks, Sizemore got the big hit.

Aaron Boone opened with a double and moved to third when Alex Cora pulled a groundout to the right side. Sizemore, who came in batting .460 in June, followed with an RBI single. Sizemore stole second and scored on Crisp's single.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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