Sox edge Indians in key divisional matchup

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2000

The Associated Press

Maybe the Cleveland Indians won’t blow away the AL Central this season.

Tuesday, June 13, 2000

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Maybe the Cleveland Indians won’t blow away the AL Central this season.

Frank Thomas hit a two-run homer and Ray Durham had three RBIs as the first-place Chicago White Sox beat Cleveland 8-7 and opened a three-game lead.

”We need to keep pushing,” White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said. ”If people don’t believe, fine. But we have to stay driven if we’re going to have a chance and stay competitive for the long haul.”

Cleveland, which has won five straight AL Central titles, has been in first place just 17 days this season after being there for 360 of a possible 362 days the past two years.

”I don’t think we’re getting cocky,” said winner Cal Eldred (7-2). ”I think we go home at night realizing that this team has the ability to win.”

Chicago has won 10 of 12 and Monday began a stretch of 14 games where it will play the Indians seven times and the World Series champion New York Yankees seven more.

Eldred allowed three runs and five hits in six innings and struck out seven as the White Sox took an 8-3 lead and won for the 10th time in 12 games. After Jim Thome’s ninth-inning homer, Keith Foulke retired Sandy Alomar Jr. on a game-ending double play for his 15th save.

The Indians, who left 14 runners on base Sunday, stranded seven more in the final three innings and went 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.

”We hit four home runs and all we needed was one single to win the game,” Indians manager Charlie Manuel said.

At Jacobs Field, Paul Rigdon (1-1) gave up five runs and seven hits in five inning. Russell Branyan homered twice, and Travis Fryman, Kenny Lofton and Thome connected for the Indians.

Mariners 5, Royals 3

Edgar Martinez homered and drove in four runs for visiting Seattle, increasing his major league-best RBIs total to 68.

Martinez had three-run homer off Miguel Batista (2-6) in the first and an RBI groundout in the third.

Seattle, which has won six of eight, moved into first place in the AL West, a half-game ahead of Oakland.

Jamie Moyer (4-2) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. Kazuhiro Sasaki pitched the ninth for his 10th save, retiring Gregg Zaun on a game-ending flyout to the wall in right-center with a man on.

Twins 7, Athletics 2

Eric Milton (6-1) struck out a season-high 11 in seven innings at the Metrodome, and Butch Huskey hit a two-run homer off the glove of Ben Grieve for a 4-2 lead in a five-run fourth.

Minnesota pitchers struck out a season-high 16. Gil Heredia (8-4) allowed five runs and four hits in four innings as Oakland lost for just the third time in 12 games. Jacque Jones had three RBIs.

Blue Jays 4, Tigers 2

Frank Castillo (2-5) allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings at Detroit to win for the first time since May 2. Billy Koch got four outs for his 13th save.

Brad Fullmer was 2-for-4, including a homer.

Hideo Nomo (2-6), who lost his third straight start, gave up four runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings. Bobby Higginson hit a two-run homer for the Tigers.