Indians 2

(14-14, 5-9 away)

Astros 3

(13-11, 8-4 home)

    1:05 PM ET, March 31, 2004

    Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, Florida 

    R H E
    CLE - -
    HOU - -

    Houston 3, Cleveland 2

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Roy Oswalt finished strong in his final spring start. Milton Bradley didn't even finish for the Indians.

    Oswalt pitched seven innings and the Houston Astros beat Cleveland 3-2 Wednesday, but Bradley was removed by manager Eric Wedge for not running hard on a second-inning popup that dropped in for a single.

    The temperamental center fielder dressed quickly and left the ballpark in a cab before the game was over. He was unavailable for comment, but told a team spokesman that he had a tight groin.

    "I didn't like the way he ran on that popup," Wedge said. "He said he was tight so I felt it best to get him out of there."

    Bradley missed some time this spring with a slight groin injury. He's had previous trouble with the Indians, and the club had been hoping he'd matured.

    Bradley promised this spring not to be a distraction. In February, he was sentenced to three days in jail for driving away from police after being stopped for speeding.

    Wedge wouldn't say if there was a confrontation when Bradley came back into the dugout Wednesday.

    "I'm not going to get into that," Wedge said. "I'll leave it where we're at. I'll talk to him tomorrow."

    Bradley was removed from a game last season for failing to run out a ball, and he also angered some opponents with showboating antics.

    The Indians are counting on Bradley, coming off an injury-plagued season, to bat cleanup and be a productive everyday player.

    Oswalt, who had offseason groin surgery, struck out seven, walked one and allowed six hits.

    "This is the first time I've felt loose in spring training," Oswalt said. "Usually, it takes me a month into the season, so I'm coming in feeling loose. I almost feel like I could do the splits."

    C.C. Sabathia, who will be the Indians' opening day starter for the second straight year, held Houston in check until the fourth inning, when he walked two batters and yielded a two-run double by Mike Lamb and an RBI single by Raul Chavez for a 3-1 Astros lead.

    Sabathia pitched seven innings, allowing three hits and three earned runs.

    Cleveland got a run in the third when Omar Vizquel doubled and scored on a single by Jody Gerut. Coco Crisp hit a sacrifice fly off Octavio Dotel in the ninth.

    Game notes

    The teams also completed a trade, with the Indians acquiring 15-game winner Jeriome Robertson from the Astros for minor league outfielders Luke Scott and Willy Taveras. Robertson led major league rookies in wins last season but was bumped from Houston's rotation when Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were signed. ... Houston pitchers led the majors with a 3.61 ERA this spring. ... Lance Berkman leads the Astros with 13 RBI. ... The Astros close out the Florida portion of spring training against Atlanta on Thursday. They'll host Kansas City at Minute Maid Park in their final two spring games before opening the season against San Francisco. ... Clemens will pitch in a minor league game in Kissimmee on Friday. ... Tim Laker will be the Indians' backup catcher. Josh Bard, slowed by a groin injury, will start the season on the disabled list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press