All-Stars Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel each reached

Associated Press Published:

All-Stars Kenny Lofton and Omar Vizquel each reached base four times and combined for five stolen bases to help lead Cleveland to a 5-2 victory Wednesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers, snapping a three-game losing streak.

"Jeff, when he was with us, was very slow in his delivery to the plate," Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove said. "His release time was very slow and we didn't see him do anything to quicken that up here, so we came into this looking to run on him."

Lofton had three hits, reached on a walk and stole a season-high three bases to set up two runs. Vizquel, named Wednesday to the All-Star team for the first time, twice drove in Lofton with base hits, drew two walks, scored twice and also stole two bases.

"I attribute that to the fact that Kenny Lofton is probably the fastest guy in this game and Omar Vizquel is one of the better base stealers in this game," Juden said. "They've done that to more guys than just myself."

Juden (7-7), who pitched for Cleveland the last two months of 1997 after arriving from the Expos in a trade, allowed five runs and six hits in six innings.

Milwaukee manager Phil Garner said there is only so much the 6-foot-8 Juden can do to hold runners on.

"He is getting better. You can see he's a big guy, but he is getting better," Garner said.

Dave Burba (10-5) allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, and Mike Jackson pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

"Dave threw the ball well," Hargrove said. "He threw strikes, he was staying around the plate, staying ahead of hitters. He got a couple of ground balls for double plays."

Cleveland, which had four All-Star reserves named Wednesday by Hargrove, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning without getting a hit.

Vizquel and David Justice drew walks. Jim Thome hit a grounder to second, and Vizquel was able to score when first baseman Mark Loretta failed to step on the bag after taking the throw.

The Indians made it 2-0 in the third when Lofton singled, stole second and scored on Vizquel's double.

"I don't go out there and say I'm just going to steal off Juden," Lofton said. "I go out there and expect to try to steal off of every pitcher that goes on the mound."

Jose Valentin's 13th homer in the third brought the Brewers within 2-1.

David Bell's fifth homer, a solo shot in the sixth, put the Indians up 3-1.

"He's a first-ball fastball hitter," Juden said. "I tried to challenge him. I started him off with breaking balls earlier, the first couple of at-bats and we felt he might have been looking for that. I decided to go with the fastball and lo and behold, he was still waiting for that first-pitch fastball. That was one of the mistakes I made tonight."

Milwaukee got a run closer in the bottom half on Marquis Grissom's RBI groundout.

The Indians used aggressive baserunning to push across two runs in the seventh. Lofton hit a leadoff single, stole second and third, and scored on Vizquel's single. Mike Myers relieved and Vizquel moved up on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Thome's single.

Notes: The Indians signed left-handed pitcher C.C. Sabathia and assigned the No. 1 draft pick to their rookie league.

Sabathia, 17, who signed Wednesday, was the 20th overall pick in the first round of the amateur draft on June 2.

He is the first left-handed pitcher selected by the Indians in the June draft since Greg Swindell in 1986. He is expected to report to Burlington, N.C., in a few days.

The Indians also signed second-round pick Zach Sorensen, a shortstop from Wichita State. Sorensen, who batted .419 last season for the Shockers, was rated the second-fastest college baserunner by Baseball America.

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