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Westbrook falls two outs short of shutout

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jake Westbrook got the ground balls he wanted,
just not the groundouts he needed.

Westbrook carried a two-hitter into the ninth inning and was two
outs away from his second career shutout when the Los Angeles
Angels rallied for a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on
Wednesday.

"I guess that's why we play nine," said Angels outfielder
Darin Erstad, who tied it with an RBI single in the ninth. "It
doesn't seem fair to him (Westbrook)."

Nothing has been fair this season for Westbrook (1-7). The
right-hander has lost two complete games, dropped three one-run
games and hasn't gotten any help from Cleveland's sluggish offense.
In his nine starts, the Indians have scored 19 runs.

"He has been our tough-luck guy," Indians manager Eric Wedge
said.

Bartolo Colon (5-3) matched Westbrook for eight innings,
allowing just one run and four hits. He appeared to be on his way
to his own tough loss before the Angels finally figured out
Westbrook.

"He was filthy," Erstad said of Westbrook. "Both pitchers
were great."

Westbrook entered the ninth having retired 20 in a row and it
quickly became 21 when he struck out pinch-hitter Juan Rivera
leading off. Adam Kennedy then capped an eight-pitch at-bat with a
single to give the Angels new life.

"I tip my cap to Mr. Kennedy," Chone Figgins said. "If not
for that at-bat I don't think we're celebrating right now."

Figgins also came through with a clutch single on Westbrook's
first pitch to advance Kennedy. Indians manager Eric Wedge didn't
have anyone warming up and it was too late anyway when Erstad
bounced an RBI single to right -- also on Westbrook's first
offering.

"It's a tough one," said Westbrook. "It's kind of
frustrating. I was hitting my spots and I felt strong, even in the
ninth. It's just one of those things."

With runners at first and third, Westbrook was lifted for
reliever Arthur Rhodes. He got pinch-hitter Bengie Molina to hit a
fly to medium right that was deep enough to score Figgins, who slid
home ahead of Casey Blake's throw.

The Angels felt fortunate to win and take two of three in the
series.

"Westbrook pitched an incredible game," Los Angeles manager
Mike Scioscia said. "I don't think he could have done anymore than
he did."

Scot Shields pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save and
second filling in for Francisco Rodriguez, who is sidelined with a
strained right forearm. Shields struck out Jody Gerut looking for
the final out.

For eight innings, Westbrook's nasty sinker had the Angels
guessing, overswinging and pounding the ball into the infield
grass.

Westbrook got 15 outs on grounders, and was helped by two double
plays from Cleveland's defense. Third baseman Aaron Boone and
second baseman Ronnie Belliard also made excellent plays to take
hits away from the Angels.

Gerut, making his season debut in Cleveland's outfield, drove in
the Indians' only run with an RBI double in the fourth off Colon,
who was pitching on just three days' rest.

Gerut hadn't played in the majors since tearing a knee ligament
at Jacobs Field on Sept. 17. He was recalled because Coco Crisp
went on the 15-day disabled list after spraining his right thumb
while sliding into third on Tuesday night.

Gerut wanted to make his season debut earlier, but the Indians
felt he needed more work and left him in Buffalo to refine his
game. After walking in his first at-bat, Gerut gave the Indians a
1-0 lead with his double.

"It felt good to be out there again," Gerut said. "A lot of
fans were saying, 'Welcome back.' It's good to feel a little of
that again."

Game notes
The Indians dropped to 5-11 in one-run games. ...
Rodriguez, who didn't pitch in the series, played catch before the
game and said he didn't have any pain. He will be examined on
Thursday by Los Angeles team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum. ... Crisp
bent his thumb all the way back on his ill-fated slide but played
six more innings before the pain became too much. Doctors told him
it could take at least three weeks for his thumb to heal
completely. ... Los Angeles OF Garret Anderson sat out because of a
tight right hamstring. Vladimir Guerrero took Anderson's cleanup
spot for the first time this season. ... Cleveland's bullpen, a
mess at this point a year ago, entered with the AL's lowest ERA
(2.45) and 11 saves in 14 chances. Last season, Indians relievers
had already blown 10 saves and had a 6.72 ERA.