<
>

Indians score four in eighth

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr. didn't provide any drama, so
the Cleveland Indians supplied all the thrills.

Coco Crisp's three-run double with two outs in the eighth inning
helped Cleveland come from behind again to beat Cincinnati 8-7,
handing the Reds their fifth straight loss.

Griffey Jr. remained stalled in his pursuit of 500 career
homers, and the Reds' slide continued as they failed to hold a 5-2
lead after five innings for the second straight night.

"I live for those kind of moments," said Crisp, one of many
stars in Cleveland's comeback. "We didn't give up and that shows
we have character -- and heart."

The streaky Indians, who have won nine times in their final
at-bat this season, scored twice in the seventh and four times in
the eighth -- capped by Crisp's double -- off three Cincinnati
relievers.

Phil Norton (0-2) lost for the second time in 24 hours.

Griffey went 0-for-4, striking out twice and drawing an
intentional walk. He's still two shy of becoming the 20th player in
history to join the 500-homer club.

Before recording their 11th comeback win of 2004, the Indians
trailed 5-4 entering the eighth.

Reds reliever Todd Jones got two quick outs before walking Casey
Blake. Norton came on and walked Travis Hafner before Ronnie
Belliard tied it with an RBI single off Danny Graves.

Belliard's hustle then kept the inning alive.

Ben Broussard hit a slow grounder to second baseman D'Angelo
Jimenez, whose underhand toss to shortstop Felipe Lopez covering at
the bag was too late to get a sliding Belliard.

"I got a good jump on it," said Belliard, who popped up
signaling "safe" in unison with second base umpire Lance
Barksdale. "He (Lopez) wasn't even touching the base, and the ump
did a good job calling me safe."

Belliard's heads-up baserunning allowed Crisp to become a hero.

"Coco's hit doesn't happen if Ronnie doesn't bust his butt to
get to second," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "I can't say
enough about Ronnie, he plays the game the way it should be
played."

Crisp worked the count to 3-2 against Graves before ripping his
double off the fence in front of Cincinnati's bullpen, scoring
three to make it 8-5.

Crisp also drove in a run in the seventh, giving him four RBI
one night after he matched a career high with four hits.

"I'm just going for fours," he said, smiling. "Maybe I'll hit
four homers or four doubles next. Nah, just kindding."

As usual, Cleveland's shaky bullpen made things interesting in
the ninth.

Jose Jimenez gave up an RBI double to Adam Dunn and Jacob Cruz's
RBI single before getting his fourth save.

Rafael Betancourt (3-4) worked a perfect eighth and Matt Lawton
homered for the Indians.

Jason LaRue hit a three-run homer for the Reds, who have dropped
five straight -- all on the road.

"I'm not pointing fingers and I'm not naming names, but we've
got to play better," said manager Dave Miley, who was particularly
upset with his team's inability to get the forceout on Broussard's
roller.

"We've got to take the out," he said. "That's the bottom
line. We're not too happy about it. They showed the replay. He
flipped it and it didn't look like Lopez got there."

Griffey, who just missed hitting two homers on Friday, popped
out to foul territory in his first at-bat and struck out swinging
to end the third as Scott Elarton blew a fastball by him.

Elarton, making his Cleveland debut, chose not to mess with
Griffey in the fifth and walked him intentionally. In the sixth,
Griffey came up with runners at the corners and two outs, but
fanned against left-hander Cliff Bartosh.

He grounded out to second in the ninth inning.

On each of Griffey's swings, light bulbs flickered throughout
the nearly sold out Jacbos Field by fans -- several thousand from
Cincinnati -- trying to freeze frame history.

The Indians were again without catcher Victor Martinez, their
best hitter and probable All-Star, who missed his second straight
game with a sprained right foot.

Game notes
Cavaliers guard LeBron James, the NBA's rookie of the year
and soon-to-be U.S. Olympian, visited with Griffey before the game.
Later, James watched from a TV booth wearing C.C. Sabathia's red
1975 Indians "throwback" jersey, a gift from the pitcher. ... C
Sandy Martinez started for Cleveland. It was his first appearance
in a major league game since April 2, 2001, for Montreal.