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Travis Fryman's RBI single in the 12th inning

Associated Press Published: May 8, 2000 12:00 AM

Travis Fryman's RBI single in the 12th inning helped the Indians overcome a six-run deficit in a 10-8 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

"It ain't over till it's over. That's what Yogi Berra taught us," Indians interim manager Grady Little said.

Trailing 8-6 with two outs, Cleveland tied it off Toronto closer Billy Koch after Omar Vizquel singled, and David Justice and Manny Ramirez hit consecutive RBI doubles.

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The blown save was the second of the season for Koch, who almost got out of the ninth when Ramirez lashed a sinking liner to centerfield that Jose Cruz Jr. dived for but could not hold onto. An inning earlier, Cruz made a highlight reel diving catch to end an Indians threat.

"I would rather have him drop it than break his wrist," Koch said. "But I couldn't tell if he caught it or not. I was too mad to watch."

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Said Cruz: "I think it hit my glove and the ground at the same time, it was that close."

The Indians won it in the 12th after Eric Gunderson (0-1) walked Jim Thome to open the inning and Richie Sexson followed with a single.

Fryman broke the tie with a single to right center and Einar Diaz added an RBI groundout to make it 10-8.

Justice went 3-for-5 with five RBI, including a three-run homer in the seventh.

"This was big for us," Justice said. "We haven't been playing great baseball. It seems like everything that could go wrong did, so it's good to get these last two games."

The Indians, near the bottom of the AL in nearly every major offensive category, have scored 28 runs in the last three games.

Paul Shuey (2-1) pitched 2 1/3 innings for the win. Steve Karsay pitched the 12th for his sixth save.

"We got down early, but we never game up," Karsay said. "That's why teams like us are going to start winning and get on a role."

Cruz hit his 13th homer and Raul Mondesi hit his seventh for Toronto.

Cruz, who hit 14 homers last season shuttling back and forth from the minors, tied Oakland's Jason Giambi for the major league lead.

Down 6-0 after Mondesi's second-inning homer, the Indians closed to 8-6 in the seventh on Justice's three-run homer off reliever Pedro Borbon.

"Justice hit that homer and it gave us a spark," Little said.

Toronto starter Frank Castillo pitched three perfect innings before Cleveland cut the Blue Jays lead to 6-3 in the fourth on Justice's RBI double, and Sexson's two-run single.

The Blue Jays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on Carlos Delgado's RBI single, Brad Fullmer's run-scoring single and Marty Cordova's RBI single.

Cleveland starter Bobby Witt gave up six runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings.

Delgado's RBI double, and Fullmer's run-scoring single made it 8-6 in the fourth.

Castillo allowed five runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked four.

Notes: Justice tied his career-high with 5 RBI. ... The Blue Jays have 46 homers in 18 games at SkyDome this season. ... C Sandy Alomar, on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring, will rejoin the Indians on Monday. Alomar caught nine innings Saturday in a rehab start in Winter Haven. ... Toronto's Roy Halladay, who is 2-4 with a 11.53 ERA, has been taken out of the starting rotation. Manager Jim Fregosi hopes Halladay will work out his problems in the bullpen. LHP Lance Painter will start in his place Wednesday. Painter made four starts with St. Louis last season.

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