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Belliard puts up three hits and a homer; Wickman hangs on

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- For a flash, it looked like the Jason
Schmidt of old with five straight strikeouts in the second and
third innings. Then Cleveland put together a four-run fourth,
pounding the San Francisco ace just as almost everyone else has
this season.

Ronnie Belliard had three hits, a homer and drove in two runs
and Grady Sizemore added a two-run double to cap the fourth and
help the Indians beat the Giants 7-6 Saturday night.

"I was right there. Then all of a sudden ...," said Schmidt,
who has one win in his last nine starts. "I'm getting beat on
stupid pitches. I'm getting burned. It's just a matter of getting
over the hump."

While Schmidt (3-3) once again struggled with his command,
needing 106 pitches to get through five innings, Indians starter
Jason Davis provided a stark contrast with his efficiency.

Making just his second start since coming back from the minors,
Davis made a bid to stay in the rotation, allowing three runs and
nine hits in seven innings. He threw just 77 pitches -- a number
Schmidt reached with one out in the fourth.

"Jason was as efficient with his pitches as I've ever seen
him," manager Eric Wedge said. "He did a real good job tonight
pounding the zone with his sinker."

The Indians, who improved to 6-5 on a season-long 12-game road
trip, had to sweat it out in the ninth. Bob Wickman came in with
two men on and none out in the ninth and got the first two hitters
to hit into run-scoring outs. After a pair of walks and a double
steal, Wickman struck out J.T. Snow to end the game for his 16th
save in 19 chances.

"He finds a way to get it done," Wedge said. "He has those
nerves of steel out there. He's been in that situation lots of
times."

The Giants (25-35) lost for the 13th time in 15 games, falling
10 games under .500 for the first time since finishing 68-94 in
1996.

Even though Schmidt has been in a two-month funk, manager Felipe
Alou still believed he would get a star performance from his ace.
Wedge agreed, saying he was "leery" of scouting reports
describing Schmidt's struggles because he was apt to return to form
at any time.

But Schmidt once again lacked his overpowering velocity.

"I had faced him before and he was a power pitcher. He used to
be 95, 96, 98 [mph]," Belliard said. "Right now he's just
throwing 93, 94. That gives you more time to read his pitches."

Schmidt walked Sizemore, who later scored on Victor Martinez's
groundout, to open a 28-pitch first inning, and then gave up a
leadoff homer to Belliard in the second.

After the five consecutive strikeouts, Schmidt ran into more
trouble in the fourth after walking Martinez to start the frame.
Jody Gerut followed with a drive over the head of center fielder
Jason Ellison, who broke in on the play. Gerut got an RBI double on
the play and scored on Belliard's double. Sizemore added a two-out,
two-run double to make it 6-0.

"I saw some good things -- the strikeouts, good breaking balls
and even some good fastballs," Alou said. "He is still struggling
with location. ... At times he was very good and other times he
wasn't."

Schmidt lasted just five innings, giving up six hits and three
walks to raise his ERA to 6.12 -- more than three runs higher than
his 3.02 mark for his first four seasons in San Francisco.

Schmidt has a 9.33 ERA in four starts since coming off a DL
stint for a strained right shoulder, but the Giants insist his
struggles aren't injury related.

"I was more of a pitcher tonight," Schmidt said. "I threw
more than just fastballs and changeups. But it all starts with
getting ahead on the fastball and I didn't."

The Giants managed only one big inning against Davis, putting
together five singles in a three-run fourth. Moises Alou, Ray
Durham and Ellison had RBI hits in the inning.

San Francisco got only one runner past second in Davis' other
six innings.

"I threw strikes and kept them off-balance," Davis said. "I
kept my pitch count down. That was a key after last start when I
had a lot of 3-2 counts and foul balls."

Game notes
San Francisco's starters are 1-9 with a 7.02 ERA over their
last 15 games. ... Omar Vizquel, playing his first series against
the Indians since leaving as a free agent in the offseason, went
1-for-4 and is 1-for-8 for the series. ... Giants LHP Jack
Taschner, brought up from Triple-A Fresno before the game, made his
major league debut with a scoreless eighth inning.