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Jays' Wells knocks in winning run in 11th

9/12/2002

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Closer Kelvim Escobar blew his eighth save, but
was just happy to keep the Toronto Blue Jays in the game.

His teammates responded when Vernon Wells hit a sacrifice fly in
the top of the 11th inning as Toronto outlasted the Cleveland
Indians 6-5 Wednesday night, completing a three-game sweep.

In all three games, the Indians battled back to tie in the
seventh inning or later.

"The whole series was like that. They would hang in there
somehow or we would let them back in the game. But we battled
back,'' Blue Jays outfielder Shannon Stewart said.

It was the Toronto's first three-game sweep in Cleveland since
1993 in Cleveland Stadium.

Escobar allowed the Indians to tie it at 5 in the ninth on Omar
Vizquel's RBI single. But Escobar came back to strike out two with
the bases loaded.

"It was one of those nights I couldn't put the hitters away,''
Escobar said. "Even if I have the blown save, I was able to come
back and keep the game tied.''

With one out in the top of the 11th, Stewart tripled into the
right-field corner against Dave Elder (0-1). Eric Hinske was then
intentionally walked, setting up Wells' sacrifice fly to center
field.

Rookie Scott Cassidy (1-4) pitched 1 1/3 hitless innings to earn
his first career win in 55 appearances.

"It's about time,'' Cassidy said.

Cassidy pitched a perfect 10th, then started the bottom of the
11th with a walk to Coco Crisp and a wild pitch. One out later, he
gave way to Jason Kershner -- the eighth Toronto reliever of the
night.

Kershner struck out Lee Stevens, then intentionally walked Jim
Thome. After a wild pitch advanced Crisp to third, Kershner got
Karim Garcia on a called third strike, earning his first career
save.

It was Thome's second intentional walk of the night.

"I'm not tempted to see anybody face Thome,'' Blue Jays manager
Carlos Tosca said.

Carlos Delgado homered and drove in three runs for Toronto. The
Blue Jays scored four runs in the fifth inning, capped by Delgado's
two-run single.

Toronto starter Mike Smith went four innings, allowing three
runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks. The rookie
right-hander has not pitched more than 4 2/3 innings in six starts
this season.

Dave Burba battled through six innings, giving up five runs on
five hits and five walks. He struck out five.

At 9:11 p.m., the game was stopped in the top of the sixth for a
moment of silence to remember those lost in the Sept. 11 attacks.
As play resumed a minute later, fans wearing white T-shirts
featuring a Sept. 11 logo remained standing and chanted "U-S-A.''

In a pregame ceremony, a group of Cleveland firefighters, police
officers and emergency medical personnel unfurled an American flag
in the shape of the United States in the outfield. Indians and Blue
Jays players stood on the dugout steps as the 40-piece Cleveland
Police and Fire Bagpipe Band played "Amazing Grace.''

Crisp hit his first career home run off Scott Wiggins, a shot to
left field that landed just over the wall in left that made it 5-4.

Delgado hit his 24th home run, an opposite field shot to left,
on the first pitch of the second inning to make it 1-0.

Bill Selby tripled scored on Josh Bard's groundout to tie it at
1 in the bottom half.

Jim Thome hit his second triple of the season in the fourth. His
hit off the 19-foot wall in left bounced off Shannon Stewart's
foot. Thome scored on Karim Garcia's single for a 3-1 lead.

Game notes
The Blue Jays improved to 4-8 in extra-inning games, while
Cleveland dropped to 3-3. ... It was the longest game of the year
for the Indians in terms of both innings and time, 4 hours, 8
minutes. ... Thome has reached base safely in 40 straight games,
the longest in the American League this season. ... Blue Jays
catcher Kevin Cash got his first major league hit in his third
career at-bat, a single in the fifth. ... Wiggins made his major
league debut in the fifth. He's the 18th rookie to play for Toronto
this season. ... The Indians plan to call up left-handed pitcher
Alex Herrera on Thursday.