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Sabathia shines on mound, at plate in victory

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- C.C. Sabathia's teammates had only good
things to say about his pitching and hitting. His baserunning and
sliding were a different matter.

Sabathia allowed five hits in eight innings and added a two-run
double to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 10-2 victory over the San
Francisco Giants on Friday night.

"He's got every right to talk," Indians outfielder Jody Gerut
said. "We're going to hear it. We're going to hear him smack
talking. He helped out his own cause tonight."

But for all the good he did with his arm and bat, his teammates
couldn't let him forget his slide into third base after the throw
home on his double got away. The 290-pound Sabathia rambled into
third as Brett Tomko retrieved the errant throw and easily got the
out despite Sabathia's headfirst slide where he almost slammed his
head into the dirt.

Gerut said Sabathia needed to "get back to basics. It's time to
get the slip and slide out and teach him feet first."

Manager Eric Wedge told his pitcher never to slide headfirst
again.

Sabathia said he wished he had gotten that advice before
breaking for third.

"It looked worse than it was," he said. "But it was bad -- a
minor earthquake."

Everything else went right for Sabathia, who was born about 40
miles east of here in Vallejo and grew up going to Giants games.

He felt right at home in Cleveland's first game ever in San
Francisco, putting on a good show for the approximately 60 friends
and family members on hand. He shut down the struggling Giants and
delivered a big hit off Tomko (5-8) to give Cleveland a 5-2 lead in
the seventh inning.

"He's a great competitor," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.
"It wasn't Sabathia's hitting that was the ballgame, it was his
pitching."

The meeting was the first between the franchises since Willie
Mays and the New York Giants swept the Indians in the 1954 World
Series. It also marked a reunion of sorts as Giants shortstop Omar
Vizquel faced his former team for the first time since leaving as a
free agent in the offseason.

Vizquel, one of the most popular players during his 11 seasons
in Cleveland, visited the Indians clubhouse before the game and
went hitless in four at-bats.

Gerut and Grady Sizemore each had three hits for Cleveland,
while Aaron Boone and Coco Crisp each drove in two runs.

Moises Alou homered and scored twice for the Giants, who have
lost 12 of 14.

Sabathia (5-3) held the Giants hitless until Alou's two-out
single in the fourth inning. After a wild pitch moved Alou to
second, Lance Niekro drove in San Francisco's first run with a
double into the left-field corner.

An infield single by Deivi Cruz put runners at first and third,
but the Indians escaped the jam when Edgardo Alfonzo popped out.

"C.C. threw the ball well," Wedge said. "He threw some
outstanding changeups. He threw some good breaking balls and had a
good fastball. The only way those secondary pitches work is if the
fastball is working."

Sabathia struck out the side in the fifth and retired the first
two batters of the sixth before Alou's 11th homer of the season cut
the Indians' lead to 3-2.

Gerut hit a two-out double in the seventh and the Giants chose
to intentionally walk Boone to face Sabathia, who is hitting .280
in 25 career at-bats. Wedge considered pinch-hitting for his
pitcher but thought otherwise.

Sabathia, who wanted to hit a ball into McCovey Cove, settled
for a double into the right-field corner to score two runs.

"I didn't realize the situation until I got on deck," Sabathia
said. "I didn't think I'd be hitting. I wasn't prepared, but
luckily I got a pitch I could hit."

Sabathia earlier made a nice play in the field, picking up
Alou's slow roller down the third base line, making a quick turn
and a perfect throw for the first out of the second.

The Indians struck first when Victor Martinez hit a one-out
double in the second. One out later, Gerut hit a drive into triples
alley in right-center for a three-base hit. Boone then hit one the
same direction for a triple that made it 2-0.

The Indians put together seven consecutive two-out singles in
the ninth against Al Levine and Scott Eyre to score five runs.

"You look up and see 10 runs on the board. I'm having trouble
understanding it and it's getting harder every time," Giants
catcher Mike Matheny said. "Anything that could go wrong has."

Game notes
Tomko allowed five runs and seven hits in seven innings.
... Sabathia, who turns 25 on July 21, has 59 career wins. ...
Cleveland has allowed just five earned runs in its last 42 innings.