Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007
It's Miller time: Tribe gets 'home' win
The game under a retractable roof lured 19,031 fans a win for Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE (AP) Even if Milwaukee gets blanketed with the predicted 10 inches of snow overnight, Cleveland Indians manager Eric Wedge will wake up knowing that his team still can play baseball today.
And given the events of the past week, he's pretty sure of one thing.
"We brought it with us," Wedge said.
After sitting through a weekend's worth of snow in Cleveland without playing a game that counted, the Indians finally got to play a home opener of sorts, beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 Tuesday night under the retractable roof at Milwaukee's Miller Park some 450 miles away from Jacobs Field.
Talk about a getaway day.
Cleveland's three-game series against the Angels was moved to Milwaukee after a spring snowstorm wiped out four scheduled games against the Seattle Mariners.
Indians players were concerned about being rusty after the layoff, but Cleveland starter C.C. Sabathia was anything but. Despite not having pitched since opening day, Sabathia (2-0) gave up three runs one earned and struck out seven in seven innings.
"It wasn't that weird," Sabathia said. "We were playing a home game somewhere else."
The Cleveland bullpen did look a little rusty. Reliever Roberto Hernandez loaded the bases in the eighth, and Aaron Fultz gave up a two-run single to Maicer Izturis that cut the Indians' lead to 7-5.
Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his second save, but not before allowing an RBI single by Casey Kotchman.
The game ended when pinch-runner Erick Aybar was thrown out by catcher Kelly Shoppach the second time in five games that Aybar, representing the tying run, was thrown out for the last out of the game trying to steal second. Aybar also was erased against Oakland on Thursday.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he left the decision to steal up to Aybar on both plays.
"But I wouldn't have given him the option if we didn't have a good chance to be successful," Scioscia said.
Angels starter Ervin Santana (1-1) gave up six runs and seven hits in 41/3 innings for the loss.
"Next outing's going to be better," Santana said. "The ball goes out of here pretty fast."
The game was a victory for the Brewers, who priced seats for all three games at $10 each and were pleasantly surprised at the response an announced crowd of 19,031 who showed up to politely root, root, root for their adopted home team.
The Indians brought their mascot, Slider, and paid for superfan John Adams to bring his big drum a fixture at Indians home games to Milwaukee.
"I think it's great," Adams said. "They started a little too early. I know a lot of people from Cleveland [who] live in Chicago came racing up after work."
But Tuesday's game had a touch of Milwaukee, as the chorizo won the sausage mascot race that was held after the sixth inning, just like during Brewers games.
And fans seemed too busy doing the wave in the seventh inning to notice that Sabathia had struck out Garret Anderson to pitch out of a jam. Even Wedge admitted he was temporarily mesmerized by what amounted to a changeup wave by the fans, done at half its normal speed.
"I've never seen a slow wave before," Wedge said. "That locked me up a little bit."
Indians LHP Cliff Lee, who has a strained abdominal muscle, gave up one hit in two innings in a rehab outing for Class A Kinston. ... C Victor Martinez, who has a strained left quadriceps, might return this weekend. Martinez did not travel with the team after his wife gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday morning. ... Angels RHP Bartolo Colon, who is recovering from a torn right rotator cuff, was scheduled to make a rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night.
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