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Spencer Homer Lifts Indians Past Twins

July 7, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Shane Spencer hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning Sunday to send the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 comeback victory over the fading Minnesota Twins.

Matt Lawton, who hit a game-tying homer off LaTroy Hawkins in the eighth and went 3-for-5 against his old club, singled with one out in the 10th against Eddie Guardado (1-4).

Spencer drove an 0-2 pitch into the left-field seats to give Cleveland three wins in four games in this series and send Minnesota to its 16th loss in 22 games.

David Riske (2-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief, and Danys Baez got his 20th save in 25 opportunities.

Doug Mientkiewicz had a pair of doubles and an RBI for the Twins, who got a much-needed quality outing from starter Brad Radke but blew a 3-1 lead after six.

Radke gave up two runs, five hits and a walk in seven innings. The right-hander still hasn’t won in nine starts, but he looked like his old self _ Minnesota’s starter in seven of its last eight season openers.

The first inning has always been his worst, but Radke got a break _ a rarity for the Twins recently _ after a bad bounce.

Milton Bradley’s two-out bloop triple landed in front of Torii Hunter in center field, ricocheted over his head and rolled all the way to the wall. Right fielder Bobby Kielty picked it up and threw to shortstop Cristian Guzman, whose relay home beat Bradley by about 20 feet.

Bradley didn’t slide, avoiding catcher A.J. Pierzynski’s sweep tag but running past the plate and continuing toward the dugout as Pierzynski jogged after him to make the tag.

Radke allowed soft singles to Lawton and Bradley to begin the fourth before a sacrifice fly by Spencer cut the Twins’ lead to 2-1.

Casey Blake, 5-for-5 with seven RBIs on Saturday, doubled and scored on a single by Victor Martinez in the seventh to make it 3-2.

Cleveland starter Jason Stanford gave up two runs, five hits and four walks in his five-inning major league debut.

Stanford, an undrafted free agent signed by the Indians in 1999 after completing his college career at Charlotte, went 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo. He replaced the demoted Ricardo Rodriguez in the rotation.

Though a little wild, Stanford twice worked his way out of trouble to keep Cleveland within one.

Luis Rivas walked to load the bases with two outs in the fourth, but shortstop Ricky Guitierrez bobbled Bobby Kielty’s grounder and barely threw him out to end the inning.

With runners at first and third and two down in the fifth, Mohr broke his bat and grounded out.

Hunter walked, stole second and scored on Mohr’s single in the second, and Kielty and Mientkiewicz put the Twins up 2-0 in the third with back-to-back doubles.

Rivas hit an RBI single in the sixth off Jack Cressend to put Minnesota up 3-1.

Notes: Mientkiewicz, who won a Gold Glove at first base in 2001, made a leaping catch of Lawton’s liner in the sixth, snagging the ball out of the air and grabbing it with his bare hand as it dropped out of his glove. ... Lawton is batting .325 with seven homers, 17 runs and 15 RBIs in his last 18 games. ... Twins LHP Eric Milton, recovering from knee surgery he had in March, is still at least a month away from throwing off a mound.