Gutierrez, who has struggled this season while adjusting

By Tom Withers Associated Press Published:

Gutierrez, who has struggled this season while adjusting to a new position, new team and new league, made three nice defensive plays and drove in a key run on Saturday as Cleveland beat Texas 3-0 and snapped a six-game losing streak.

"It's nice to be able to contribute to the team," Gutierrez said. "I'm starting to get more comfortable as the games go by. I'm starting to feel good at the plate and in the field."

Gutierrez has gotten off to a rough start with the Indians, who signed the former shortstop in December to play second after Roberto Alomar was traded to the New York Mets.

However, through his first 29 games, Gutierrez had done little to make Indians fans forget about Alomar.

He came into Saturday leading the league by grounding into eight double plays, and the 31-year-old was hitting .235 _ .55 points below his 2001 average _ with just one homer and five RBIs.

And Gutierrez, who had only played 27 career games at second, hadn't done much defensively either.

But on Saturday, he saved one run with a diving backhander in the sixth inning, throwing out Michael Young from his knee. Then he made two stops in the ninth as the Indians hung on to win for just the third time in 18 games.

In the eighth, Gutierrez followed an intentional walk to Omar Vizquel with a two-out, run-scoring double _ his first RBI since April 20 _ to make it 3-0.

Gutierrez said the transition to facing AL pitchers and playing a new position hasn't been easy.

"It's been tougher than I thought," he said. "It's all a lot different in the AL. It seems like all I see are breaking balls. I've been struggling with my mechanics, too."

But he feels like he's coming around, and the Indians are, too.

"We're going to bounce back," said Gutierrez, batting .353 in his last four games. "We have a lot of quality players and hitters on this team. We just all fell into a slump at the same time."

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WALK THIS WAY: The Texas Rangers wanted no part of Omar Vizquel, suddenly the most feared bat in Cleveland's lineup.

Vizquel, who homered in the sixth inning to put Cleveland up 1-0, was walked intentionally for just the fifth time in his career in Saturday's game.

With a runner at second and two outs, Rangers manager Jerry Narron had right-hander Ismael Valdes walk Vizquel to face Ricky Gutierrez in a two-run game.

"Yeah, I was surprised. I saw the catcher start to do this," said Vizquel, extending his arm to his side. "I said, 'Are you kidding me?"'

The Rangers' strategy backfired when Gutierrez followed with a double to make it 3-0.

"I was glad Ricky came up with the hit," Vizquel said. "That was awesome."

Before Saturday, Vizquel had last drawn an intentional walk on July 10, 1998, against Minnesota.

"I don't remember it," Vizquel said. "You've got to dig deep in the books."

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BASELINES: The swelling around OF Milton Bradley's left eye has improved and the Indians said his double vision has minimized. Bradley broke an orbital bone near his eye when he got hit by a ball while trying to make a catch earlier this week. He will be re-examined on Wednesday, and may still need surgery. ... Manager Charlie Manuel said DH Ellis Burks will likely miss two more games with a strained hamstring. Burks told Manuel his hamstring hurt while he was pinch-hitting on Friday. ... Bob Wickman's save Saturday was his career-high 19th straight. ... In RHP Bartolo Colon's last four starts, the Indians have only scored six runs.

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