Series: Game 1 of 3

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 7/8)

Game 1: Tuesday, July 8
NY Yankees0Final
Game 2: Wednesday, July 9
NY Yankees6Final
Game 3: Thursday, July 10
NY Yankees2Final
in 10

Yankees 0

(54-34, 29-15 away)

Indians 4

(38-50, 19-22 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 8, 2003

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 000000000 0 1 2
    CLE 20000002 - 4 10 0

    W: B. Traber (4-5)

    L: J. Weaver (4-7)

    Traber throws 'Maddux-like' complete game

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- Billy Traber was fast, focused and nearly flawless.

    Traber pitched a one-hitter for his first complete game Tuesday night, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees, who didn't start injured infielders Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano.

    Traber (4-5), whose only previous link to New York was as a Mets' prospect, dominated a depleted Yankees lineup that struggled with the left-hander's offspeed pitches and unorthodox delivery.

    "It was Greg Maddux-like," Yankees manager Joe Torre said of Traber needing just 2 hours, 11 minutes to shut out New York. "He didn't throw hard, but you don't have to when you throw strikes. When somebody throws soft, it frustrates you. But you certainly admire and respect it."

    After giving up a leadoff single to John Flaherty in the third inning, Traber retired the final 21 in a row and 27 of 28. He walked none, struck out five and didn't allow a Yankee to reach second base.

    Traber came very close to pitching a perfect game.

    The 23-year-old Traber shook off rookie catcher Victor Martinez before throwing the 1-2 fastball that Flaherty lined cleanly into left field.

    "Victor wanted a change-up," Traber said. "I threw it a little too far inside, and he got it."

    Flaherty felt lucky to get the hit.

    "With two strikes and it being the first time I've seen the guy, I had no idea what to expect. I was trying to hit it back up the middle, got jammed and was fortunate it got in there."

    Matt Lawton homered, and Casey Blake had three hits off Jeff Weaver (4-7) as the Indians improved to 7-3 in their last 10.

    Traber, who along with Lawton came to the Indians in the eight-player deal that sent Roberto Alomar to the Mets, was coming off his worst career start, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings on July 2 against Kansas City.

    But he kept the Yankees guessing with a variety of breaking pitches, and had only five outs recorded by Indians outfielders.

    "He had no predictability and that was impressive," said Torre, whose team was coming off two emotional wins over the Boston Red Sox. "Don't say it was a letdown after a big series, there was none of that. It was all him."

    The Indians scored two runs in the first off Weaver, who allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings while losing for the fifth time in seven starts.

    Jeter and Soriano were both kept out of the Yankees' starting lineup with sore hands after being hit with pitches by Boston's Pedro Martinez on Monday.

    Jeter took a round of batting practice before Torre elected to keep his captain out. Soriano couldn't grip a bat when he arrived at the ballpark.

    Jeter lined out to center while pinch-hitting in the ninth.

    "I'm not sure having those guys would have made a difference," Torre said.

    The way Traber was throwing, Jeter and Soriano might not have mattered.

    "I know they were missing some guys," Traber said. "But that's still a professional hitting team."

    Jeter's replacement, rookie Erick Almonte, had his share of problems. He couldn't stop Blake's slow-rolling RBI single in the first. In the third, he failed to turn a double play and booted a grounder by Blake that was right at him.

    Cleveland scored twice in the first off Weaver, who was making his first start since June 29. Lawton reached on a one-out walk, and with two outs, rookie Jody Gerut barely missed a homer with an RBI double off the wall in right-center.

    Blake followed with a grounder to center that got under Almonte's glove for an RBI single.

    Lawton led off the eighth with his 15th homer and eighth in 22 games. Martinez added an RBI single later in the inning off Chris Hammond.

    Game notes

    It was Cleveland's first complete game, one-hitter since Bartolo Colon against the Yankees on Sept. 18, 2000. It was also the Indians' first one-hitter in Cleveland since Tom Candiotti allowed only an eighth-inning single to Mike Easler on Aug. 3, 1987. ... A lightning bolt hit near Jacobs Field while New York was taking batting practice, and the subsequent thunderclap caused several Yankees, including pitcher David Wells, to sprint for the dugout. ... The Yankees are expected to recall OF Bernie Williams from the minors for Wednesday's game. Williams has been out since late May after undergoing knee surgery. ... Indians SS Omar Vizquel (right knee surgery) will work out with the club the next two days and hopes to begin a rehab assignment later this week. ... Jeter and Soriano had not been out of the starting lineup in the same game since Sept. 10 last season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press