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Cleveland Indians Team Report - April 17th

From The Sports Network

(Sports Network) - Barely two weeks into the 2003 campaign and already the Cleveland Indians find themselves six and a half games out of first place in the American League Central following their 4-3 defeat at home against Baltimore on Wednesday.

Omar Vizquel homered in the contest for the Indians, who have dropped eight of their last 11 games overall.

Danys Baez took the loss as he blew his first save in four chances this season. He gave up one run on a hit and a walk over 1 2/3 innings.

Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook allowed one unearned run on two hits while striking out two and walking three in 5 2/3 innings as Baltimore won for only the third time in 18 tries at Jacobs Field.

For the rubber game of this three-game set, the Indians will send a winless C.C. Sabathia to the hill this evening. Sabathia, who did not receive a decision against the Orioles on Opening Day, has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his first three starts, but hasn't received much support from the Indians' offense. Cleveland is averaging 2.7 runs in his starts.

In his last outing on Saturday against the Kansas City Royals, the 22-year-old righthander yielded three runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings, but suffered his second straight loss. Sabathia has a career mark of 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA all-time versus the Orioles.

Outfielder Shane Spencer was 1-for-4 on Wednesday with a double and is 5- for-10 with three runs against Baltimore this season.

Cleveland is currently tied for 12th in the AL with just nine home runs and is second to last in the league with a batting average of .241.

Ellis Burks, a veteran of 17 major league seasons, is tied for the team lead in RBI with eight and is batting .306 for the club.

Following Thursday's contest the Indians will be off on a 10-game road trip that has them visiting the Chicago White Sox, Seattle and Oakland before returning home at the end of April.

04/17 12:55:43 ET

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