Reyes lifts Indians to first win of season

BY foxsports • April 12, 2009

Anthony Reyes' six efficient innings looked like a masterpiece to the win-starved Cleveland Indians.

Reyes turned in the longest outing this season by a Cleveland starter and the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-4 on Sunday to earn their first victory of the season.

"It was a great team win and we certainly needed it," third baseman Mark DeRosa said.

DeRosa and Travis Hafner each hit a two-run homer and Trevor Crowe doubled in two runs for the Indians, who avoided their worst start in 95 years. Cleveland lost its first six games in 1914.

The Washington Nationals are the majors' only remaining winless team at 0-6.

"I was glad to get this one," manager Eric Wedge said as his players packed their bags for a seven-game trip to Kansas City and New York. The Indians will play in the opening game at new Yankee Stadium on Thursday.

Jensen Lewis worked 1 2-3 scoreless innings and Kerry Wood struck out the side on 13 pitches in a perfect ninth for Cleveland.

Wood, who agreed to a $20.5 million, two-year contract in December, acknowledged having a rush of adrenaline as he warmed up in the eighth while Cleveland tacked on three runs - two on Hafner's third homer in three days.

"Whether you've been in the game 10 years or it's your first time, you feel a little nervous," Wood said. "This game meant a lot because you don't want to fall too far back."

Lewis replaced Rafael Perez with Blue Jays on second and third and one out in the seventh. He struck out Marco Scutaro and got Aaron Hill to fly out on the first pitch to preserve a 5-4 lead.

"He was outstanding," Wedge said. "Then you saw what Kerry can do."

Blue Jays starter David Purcey (0-1) struck out 10 over 4 2-3 innings. The left-hander also walked six and allowed four earned runs and four hits. Toronto pitchers walked 10 overall.

"Way too many walks," manager Cito Gaston said. "But with all those walks, we were still in the game. One more base hit or a flyball, who knows what might happen?"

Purcey said he had difficulty gripping the ball, not because of temperatures in the low 40s, but due to the dry conditions.

"I was just throwing them up there," he said. "I didn't have much of a feel for my fastball. End result, I wasn't ready to go. I didn't prepare myself and I wasn't ready to throw strikes."

Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer and Alex Rios tripled in a run for Toronto.

Reyes (1-0) cooled off a Blue Jays lineup that had scored a major league-high 42 runs in winning five of their first six games. Toronto managed only four runs and three hits against the right-hander.

"He's a pitcher," Wells said. "He's going to hit his spots and change speeds. He did enough to keep us off balance."

Cleveland starters were 0-4 with a 13.28 ERA during the team's losing streak. The Indians' previous long outing by a starter was five innings, by Cliff Lee in each of his two starts and Fausto Carmona once.

Crowe's first career hit gave the Indians a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning but Rios hit an RBI triple in the sixth and scored on Wells' first homer of the season to get the Blue Jays within one.

Grady Sizemore got Cleveland's offense off to a fast start. He walked in the first inning then stole second as DeRosa struck out. He went to third on Purcey's wild pitch and scored after catcher Rod Barajas threw wildly to third.

Sizemore walked again to open the third. DeRosa then hit the first pitch over the wall in left for a 3-0 lead.


Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said LHP Scott Lewis will not throw for five to 10 days. Lewis is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left forearm. ... Indians OF David Dellucci, out since March 30 with a strained left calf, is expected to DH this week in extended spring training in Arizona. ... The Indians got good reports on RHPs Jake Westbrook and Adam Miller from Arizona. Last June, Westbrook had Tommy John surgery and Miller had surgery on his right middle finger. Westbrook is on track to possibly return in midseason while Miller is throwing all his pitches and could join a minor league team soon. ... Toronto has not started 6-1 since 1994. ... The Blue Jays failed to get their first three-game sweep in Cleveland since 2002. ... Purcey became the first Toronto pitcher to strike out 10 in a game since Cory Lidle did it on Sept. 26, 2003. ... Hafner's homer was the 150th of his career.

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