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Indians edge Rockies on Boone's 11th-inning homer

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Aaron Boone rounded third, looked up and saw a welcoming party near the plate. This wasn't October or Yankee Stadium or legendary, but for the struggling Boone, the moment was special.

Stuck in a season-long slump, Boone homered leading off the 11th inning and the Indians rallied for a 7-6 victory over the lowly Colorado Rockies to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Boone fell behind 1-2 against Blaine Neal (1-2) before pulling his seventh homer over the wall in left. The shot wasn't nearly as magical as Boone's series-winning homer in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS for the New York Yankees, but it finally made him feel welcome in Cleveland, where he has been booed most of the season.

Boone, who entered the game hitting just .184, was mobbed by his bouncing teammates when he finally touched the plate.

"That's the kind of beating you enjoy," he said. "You don't mind it. It means you've done something good."

There hasn't been much for Boone, who missed all of last season after undergoing knee surgery, to feel good about.

"I certainly feel better about where I am now than I did a few weeks ago," said Boone, batting .371 in his last 10 games. "I've been feeling good at the plate and I feel I've been swinging the bat a lot better."

The surging Indians have won eight of nine and improved to 16-7 since May 20.

"It feels good, especially to do it when we're staring to play much better as a team," Boone said. "I feel like we're catching our stride. I am, too."

Bob Howry (4-1) pitched one inning for the win and Cleveland's relievers combined for 7 2/3 shutout innings with 13 strikeouts.

Jhonny Peralta hit a one-out homer in the ninth off Colorado's Brian Fuentes for the Indians, who trailed 6-2 in the fourth but kept chipping away and improved to 18-0 when scoring at least six runs.

"One pitch got away, that's the hardest part," Fuentes said. "I was ahead in the count but he put a good swing on it."

The Rockies dropped to 4-25 on the road this season.

With the Indians down 6-5, Peralta was behind 0-2 against Fuentes and fouled off two more pitches before driving his seventh homer -- and first since May 17 -- the opposite way over the wall in right-center to tie it at 6.

Colorado starter Joe Kennedy, whose days pitching with the Rockies could be numbered, was in line to get the win before Peralta's clutch homer.

Pitching for the first time since June 6, Kennedy got some unexpected early support from the Rockies, who roughed up C.C. Sabathia. Kennedy has been mentioned in recent trade talks with several teams, including the Dodgers and Oakland Athletics, who are both in the market for a starting pitcher.

The left-hander didn't dazzle any scouts on hand, allowing five runs and seven hits in five innings.

Garret Atkins and rookie Ryan Shealy drove in two runs apiece for the Rockies.

The Rockies tagged Sabathia for six runs -- five in the third inning -- and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was the left-hander's shortest outing in 26 starts dating to July 5.

Sabathia needed just 23 total pitches to get through the first two innings before he seemed to lose his focus while laboring through 36 pitches in the third, when Colorado scored five times on six hits.

Casey Blake gave the Indians a 2-0 lead in the second with his eighth homer.

Notes

  • The Indians are 9-2 in interleague play.
  • The game was delayed 52 minutes by rain in the sixth.
  • Rockies RF Luis Gonzalez made two nice catches, crashing into the wall to rob Ronnie Belliard in the fifth and sliding into the corner to rob Boone of extras in the second.
  • Indians RHP Kevin Millwood was activated off the DL and will start Thursday's series finale. RHP Jason Davis was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
  • If they don't start winning away from Coors Field soon, the Rockies could threaten the record for fewest road wins in a season. The 1963 New York Mets, regarded as one of baseball's worst all-time squads, won just 17 road games.
  • The Rockies, who have nine players on the disabled list, matched a club record by starting six rookies on Tuesday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Aaron Boone's seventh home run of the season lifts Cleveland over Colorado.  (AP)
Aaron Boone's seventh home run of the season lifts Cleveland over Colorado. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

A. Boone
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Colorado

G. Atkins
AB 6
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Colorado Rockies
Eddy Garabito, 2B4120010 .385
    Bradley Hawpe, RF1000010 .276
Garrett Atkins, 3B6132001 .307
Todd Helton, 1B3100212 .256
Preston Wilson, CF5011044 .274
Dustan Mohr, LF4000026 .207
   a- Cory Sullivan, PH-LF1000000 .306
Ryan Shealy, DH5022020 .250
Luis Gonzalez, RF-2B5000013 .256
Desi Relaford, SS5220001 .290
Danny Ardoin, C4111130 .313
Totals43611631517 
a-popped out for Mohr in the 10th
Batting
2B - Eddy Garabito (2, Betancourt), Ryan Shealy (1, Sabathia), Desi Relaford 2 (10, Sabathia, Sabathia)
SH - Eddy Garabito (1)
RBI - Garrett Atkins 2 (23), Preston Wilson (36), Ryan Shealy 2 (2), Danny Ardoin (2)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Shealy 2 (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Helton
Colorado Rockies
Joe Kennedy 5755221 7.22
David Cortes (H,1) 1000110 3.29
Jay Witasick (H,6) 2100040 2.52
Brian Fuentes (BS,2) 2211151 2.81
Blaine Neal (L,1-3)0111001 7.15
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kennedy 92-53, David Cortes 11-7, Jay Witasick 32-24, Brian Fuentes 40-29, Blaine Neal 5-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kennedy 7-5, David Cortes 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Kennedy 23, David Cortes 4, Jay Witasick 7, Brian Fuentes 9, Blaine Neal 1
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4011120 .306
Coco Crisp, LF5010011 .281
Ron Belliard, 2B5010012 .289
Travis Hafner, DH5220011 .283
Victor Martinez, C3010111 .211
    Alex Cora, PR0000000 .215
    Josh Bard, C0000100 .184
Jose Hernandez, 1B1111000 .237
   a- Ben Broussard, PH-1B2000023 .259
Casey Blake, RF4112123 .196
Aaron Boone, 3B4222010 .191
Jhonny Peralta, SS4111013 .270
Totals37711741214 
a-struck out for Hernandez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (12, Kennedy), Ron Belliard (9, Fuentes), Travis Hafner 2 (14, Kennedy, Kennedy), Victor Martinez (9, Witasick), Aaron Boone (6, Kennedy)
HR - Casey Blake (8, Kennedy), Aaron Boone (7, Neal), Jhonny Peralta (7, Fuentes)
SF - Jose Hernandez (2), Aaron Boone (3)
SH - Jose Hernandez (1)
RBI - Grady Sizemore (29), Jose Hernandez (13), Casey Blake 2 (21), Aaron Boone 2 (21), Jhonny Peralta (21)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake 2 (6)
Team LOB - 7
Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia 3.1866320 3.91
Rafael Betancourt 2.1100040 2.56
Scott Sauerbeck 0.1000000 3.57
Matt Miller 2000040 1.50
Arthur Rhodes 1100030 1.03
Bob Wickman 1100000 3.00
Bob Howry (W,4-1) 1000020 2.83
WP - C.C. Sabathia (2)
Pitches-Strikes - C.C. Sabathia 74-46, Rafael Betancourt 28-20, Scott Sauerbeck 1-1, Matt Miller 26-18, Arthur Rhodes 15-11, Bob Wickman 9-6, Bob Howry 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.C. Sabathia 4-4, Rafael Betancourt 1-2, Scott Sauerbeck 1-0, Matt Miller 1-1, Bob Wickman 2-1
Batters Faced - C.C. Sabathia 21, Rafael Betancourt 8, Scott Sauerbeck 1, Matt Miller 6, Arthur Rhodes 4, Bob Wickman 4, Bob Howry 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20986
Game Time - 3:32
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Jerry Crawford