Tribe gets out the broom

Associated Press Published:

CLEVELAND _ Matt Lawton took great joy in helping Cleveland sweep the Minnesota Twins.

"There's no team I'd rather beat than those guys," the former Twin said after Cleveland beat the Minnesota 8-4 on Thursday to continue the Indians' best start in 36 years with its first four-game sweep of the Twins since 1994.

Lawton made two sensational catches in right field and Omar Vizquel hit a three-run homer as Cleveland won its eighth straight to improve to 9-1 _ its best start since opening 10-0 in 1966.

"There's a different guy getting it done every game and that is a real good sign," Vizquel said. "Good defense, good pitching and some clutch hitting is a pretty tough formula to beat."

The Twins held a 20-minute meeting to try and recoup.

"We talked about how we can't let this series carry over," first-year manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They just whupped us, but we won't go into any hole."

Gardenhire and reliever Jack Cressend were not around, however, for the final out. Both were ejected in the fifth inning after Cressend hit Ricky Gutierrez in the left thigh with a pitch.

Gutierrez dropped his bat, took a couple steps toward the mound and glared at Cressend. Players from both dugouts and bullpens ran onto the field, but there was no further incident.

"I'm not happy, but also not surprised," Gutierrez said. "That's baseball."

Both clubs had been warned in the top of the fifth when the Twins' A.J. Pierzynski was hit in the back by Bartolo Colon's fastball.

"We have to take care of business, do what we have to do," Gardenhire said. "They're throwing hard in, we are going to throw harder in. You understand?"

Colon (3-0) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"Everybody thinks I tried to hit him, but they are wrong," Colon said. "I had no reason to hit him. I had a big lead."

With two runners on base in the fifth, Lawton made a diving, backhanded grab of a line drive hit into the right-center gap by David Ortiz. With a runner on second in the sixth, Lawton made a diving catch toward the line on a drive by Denny Hocking.

"The first catch was pretty tough," Lawton said. "I felt we had to keep them from scoring and gaining momentum, so I decided to go for it. Good thing I caught it.

Jacque Jones hit Colon's third pitch off the facade of the second deck in right field for his fourth homer.

Cleveland came right back to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom half off Kyle Lohse (0-2). Lawton and Vizquel both walked, took off on an 0-1 count and scored on Ellis Burks' double.

Torii Hunter led off the Twins' second with his second homer, tying it at 2.

Cleveland then used the long ball to go ahead 8-2.

Jim Thome hit a two-run shot 424 feet into the stands in right-center to make it 4-2 in the third.

Vizquel's three-run homer came in a four-run fourth that included Twins shortstop Cristian Guzman's third error in two games.

Notes: Cleveland starting pitchers are 9-0 with a 3.36 ERA. Opposing starters have an 8.63 ERA. ... The Indians outscored Minnesota 31-15 in the sweep. ... Lawton has at least one RBI in a career-high eight straight games. ... Indians OF Milton Bradley is day-to-day with a strained right quadriceps.

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