Final

Series: Game 2 of 2

Texas won 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, June 1
Texas6Final
in 12
Cleveland5
Game 2: Wednesday, June 2
Texas5Final
Cleveland3

Rangers 5

(29-22, 13-13 away)

Indians 3

(22-28, 16-13 home)

    12:05 PM ET, June 2, 2004

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 020001002 5 10 1
    CLE 000000120 3 9 1

    W: C. Almanzar (5-0)

    L: R. Betancourt (2-4)

    S: F. Cordero (18)

    Matthews hits first HR since Aug. 26

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- All Gary Matthews needed was one big swing to make him feel like a major leaguer again.

    Matthews homered leading off the ninth inning and Hank Blalock connected with two outs, leading the Texas Rangers to a 5-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday and sweep of the two-game series.

    Matthews, who hit an RBI double in the second and a sacrifice fly in the sixth, connected on a 0-1 pitch from Rafael Betancourt (2-4) to break a 3-3 tie.

    The homer -- Matthews' first since Aug. 26 for San Diego -- was a special one for the journeyman outfielder playing with his seventh team since 1999. He signed with Texas in April after being cut by Atlanta in spring training.

    "It's my first since coming back up," said Matthews, who came in 2-for-17 since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma on May 25. "Any time you can hit a game winner, it's really a big lift."

    Two outs after Matthews' shot, Blalock hit his 13th homer as Texas won a third straight road game for the first time this season.

    The streaky Indians have had their last five games decided in the final at-bat.

    Betancourt sat and stared in his locker for several minutes before showering.

    "I made bad pitches, and that was it," he said. "I didn't do my job."

    Texas reliever Carlos Almanzar (5-0) picked up the win despite giving up a tying single in the eighth.

    Francisco Cordero walked two in the ninth before getting his 18th save in 18 tries, setting a team record. He had shared the mark of 17 straight converted saves with John Wetteland (1999) and Jeff Zimmerman (2001).

    After the one-out walks, Cordero struck out Matt Lawton and got Omar Vizquel on a foul popup for the final out and a place in Texas' record book.

    "That's nice for me," Cordero said. "It means a lot."

    Jody Gerut homered for the Indians, who were blanked for six innings by Texas starter R.A. Dickey.

    The right-hander, mixing a fastball and changeup with an offspeed pitch he calls "The Thing," allowed an unearned run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings. However, Dickey remained winless since May 2.

    "I wasn't doing anything different than I have been," he said. "But today I had my change, my fastball and "The Thing" all working for me. When you have all three pitches, it makes a big difference."

    Down 3-0, the Indians got an RBI single from slumping Ben Broussard (3-for-35) in the seventh and then tied it with two runs in the eighth off reliever Brian Shouse.

    Gerut hit his sixth homer with one out to bring the Indians to 3-2, and Victor Martinez followed with his first career triple. Shouse then struck out Travis Hafner before he was replaced by Almanzar.

    Casey Blake greeted the right-hander with an RBI single, but Blake got thrown out trying a delayed steal -- his second bad baserunning decision in two days.

    "I got a steal sign," Blake said. "I don't want to say I panicked, I just delayed. I don't know why. We don't even have a delayed steal sign. To be honest, I don't know what the heck happened."

    On Tuesday night, Blake hesitated on an attempted sacrifice bunt in the 11th inning and was thrown out at the plate in Cleveland's 6-5, 12-inning loss.

    The teams played their second game in 13 hours Tuesday. The short turnaround affected the Indians, who didn't get anything going against Dickey until the seventh.

    Dickey was pulled with two outs after the Indians scored an unearned run. As he left the field after walking Alex Escobar, Dickey exchanged words and cold stares with Cleveland's outfielder.

    "He eyeballed me like I walked him because I didn't want to give into him," Dickey said. "I didn't think he should be staring at me like he did. When I strike guys out, I don't stare at them when they go back to the dugout."

    Escobar was surprised by Dickey's reaction.

    "He was (mad) about something," he said. "I didn't know why he was staring at me. I guess it was part of the game." ^Notes:@ Rangers 2B Alfonso Soriano hit into his first double play in 217 at-bats in the first. He hit into eight double plays with the Yankees last season. ... The Rangers have won six straight against Cleveland. ... Before the homers, Betancourt had pitched 7 2-3 scoreless innings in his last seven appearances. ... Like father, like son. Matthews has also played for the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh, the New York Mets and Baltimore. His dad played for San Francisco, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Seattle and the Cubs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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