Vizquel rescues Tribe again

By Ken Berger Associated Press Published:

CLEVELAND _ Sometimes Omar Vizquel wins games with flamboyant dives and brilliant throws, making clouds of dust for the whole ballpark to see.

On Saturday, he tip-toed to second base and tagged unsuspecting Craig Shipley for the last out.

"As soon as we saw Omar take off we all yelled in the dugout," Anaheim manager Terry Collins said after the Indians beat the Angels 8-5. "With all the fan noise, he never heard us."

The Angels had runners at first and second with Tim Salmon representing the tying run at the plate in the ninth. Mike Jackson, who blew his first save in the home opener on Friday, had walked Shipley and allowed a single by Darin Erstad.

Vizquel pranced behind Shipley, and Jackson was watching for the old "daylight play." He threw a strike to Vizquel to end the game as the Indians improved baseball's best record to 8-1.

"He just didn't have a chance because the people were screaming," said Vizquel, who saved a run in the home opener when he threw out Jim Edmonds from his backside, then made another eye-popping play in the eighth inning on Saturday. "He got caught up in that, I think."

Jim Thome and Brian Giles hit two-run homers, and Charles Nagy won despite allowing three homers. Shawon Dunston had an RBI triple, and Thome homered for the second straight day, a 453-foot blast off Jason Dickson (0-2).

The Indians kept alive their best start since going 10-0 in 1966.

"It's real professional here," said Dunston, who was thrown out trying for a second triple in the sixth. "You don't worry about anything. Just winning."

Nagy (2-0) was chased in the seventh after Erstad's second homer of the game cut the Indians' lead to 7-4. One out later, Salmon homered off reliever Jose Mesa to make it 7-5.

Nagy went 6 1-3 innings, allowing four runs _ three earned _ and six hits with four walks. He gave up Frank Bolick's first homer since 1993 in the third.

"He hung a couple of pitches, and they hit them out," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "Charlie's still awful good."

Dickson lost to the Indians for the second time this season, allowing six earned runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

Vizquel's play was quite a contrast to one in the second inning. The Angels got an unearned run after third baseman Travis Fryman threw to first base with nobody covering.

Fryman charged Norberto Martin's bunt and threw to first _ but Thome had charged, too. Phil Nevin went from first to third and scored on Shipley's groundout to make it 2-1.

Dunston, a fine National League shortstop for years with the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, marveled at Vizquel's two days of defensive gems.

"He's watching everything. He's always laughing, joking, having a good time," Dunston said. "That's the way he concentrates. I can't concentrate like that."

Vizquel, a switch hitter, had to bat right-handed against the righty Dickson because of a sore finger on his right hand. It hasn't affected his fielding. He made another great play in the eighth, ranging far to his left for Nevin's grounder, spinning around and throwing him out.

"He and Ozzie Smith are the two best shortstops I've seen in baseball," Dunston said.

Kenny Lofton got the Indians going in his first at-bat. He reached on an error by Martin, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on David Justice's sacrifice fly.

Cleveland tied it in the bottom of the inning on Dunston's RBI triple. Bolick homer leading off the third gave Anaheim a 3-2 lead. But Thome's two-run shot made it 4-3 Cleveland.

Dunston made it 5-3 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Giles made it 7-3 in the sixth with his third homer.

After the homers by Erstad and Salmon in the seventh, Justice made it 8-5 with an RBI double off Shigetoshi Hasegawa.

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