Indians snap four-game skid

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bob Wickman was in trouble.

The Cleveland Indians' lead was down to one in the ninth inning,
and the New York Yankees had the tying and winning runs on base
with nobody out. Scott Elarton's second straight win was in
jeopardy, but he wasn't all that nervous.

"You kind of get used to it with Wicky," Elarton said after
the Indians' 8-7 victory Saturday. "He's done it so many times. He
knows how to get out of those situations and it's really not as
stressful as it might seem."

Wickman got Robinson Cano to hit into a double play, and then
retired Alex Rodriguez for the final out as the Indians snapped a
four-game losing streak.

Jose Hernandez got the start against new Yankees lefty Darrell
May and hit a pair of two-run homers and drove in five runs.

Cleveland, which had dropped 10 of 12 to the Yankees and 11 of
12 to them on the road, ended New York's six-game winning streak.
The Yankees fell back into third place in the AL East, behind
Boston and Baltimore, after passing the Orioles on Friday.

Elarton (6-3) followed his complete-game victory on Monday over
Detroit with a seven-inning effort.

"He has been as consistent as any starter we have, if not more
so," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He's a true example of
what we talk about in terms of just giving the team a chance to win
the ballgame."

Hideki Matsui brought New York to 7-6 with a three-run homer in
the eighth inning off Arthur Rhodes, but Travis Hafner's second RBI
double of the game gave Cleveland a two-run lead in the ninth.

Wickman allowed Ruben Sierra's third homer leading off the
ninth, but managed to get his 23rd save in 26 chances.

Hernandez broke out of a slump to provide the offense.

In 37 games since April 21, Hernandez was hitting just .218. He
homered twice against Cincinnati on June 24, but entered with only
three home runs and 16 RBI on the year.

"I think I always don't have a good start," Hernandez said.
"I usually pick it up later on, like June and July."

Elarton gave up back-to-back homers in the first inning to Gary
Sheffield and Rodriguez before settling down and winning for the
fourth time in five decisions.

"I didn't really feel very good the first inning," Elarton
said. "I made two bad pitches to those guys. It's pretty much a
guaranteed hard-hit ball if you miss over the plate."

He gave up three runs and six hits in matching his second
longest outing of the season. Keeping a low pitch count was the

"He did everything you could ask him to do," Wedge said.

May (0-1) lasted only 4 1/3 innings in his Yankees debut that
came a day after he was brought up from Triple-A Columbus and one
week following his acquisition from San Diego.

Pitching in place of injured Carl Pavano, May allowed seven
runs, eight hits and a season-high three home runs. He was 1-3 with
a 5.61 ERA with the Padres working in and out of the bullpen.

"I wasn't able to hit my spots when I wanted," May said.
"When I tried to go away, I left the pitches up and that's what
hurt me."

After a 1-2-3 first inning, including a three-pitch strikeout of
leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore, May fell apart in the second.

Casey Blake led off with an infield single, and Hernandez ripped
a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall to tie it at 2. Jhonny Peralta
followed with another shot to left, this time after May fell behind

May retired the first two hitters in the third, but Casey Blake
doubled just over the outstretched glove of center fielder Melky
Cabrera, who had a rough day defensively in his third major league

"It's an experience he's going to have to go through," Yankees
manager Joe Torre said. "Unfortunately, it was a one-run game so
it sticks out like a sore thumb."

Hernandez followed with another drive to left on a 3-1 pitch for
his ninth career multihomer game, giving Cleveland a 5-2 lead.

Cleveland added two more runs off May in the fifth when Hafner
doubled in Coco Crisp, who had singled, and Hernandez brought home
Hafner with a single against Scott Proctor.

"He did a great job in getting us kick-started," Wedge said of

New York cut the deficit to 7-3 in its half of the fifth as
Sierra led off with a double and scored on Cano's two-out single.

Matsui reached base for the 35th straight game, tops in the
majors this season.

Game notes
Hernandez drove in a career-best seven runs on April 12,
2001, with Milwaukee. ... Sheffield tied Cal Ripken Jr. for 33rd
place on baseball's list with his 431st homer. ... Yankees 1B Jason
Giambi returned to the lineup after leaving Friday's game in the
sixth inning because of tightness in his left leg. ... The Indians
recalled INF Brandon Phillips from Triple-A Buffalo and optioned
LHP Brian Tallet. Phillips started at second base and went 0-for-4.
He filled in for Ronnie Belliard, who was bothered by leg cramps.
... The Yankees' old-timers game was cut to 1 1/3 innings by a
brief rain shower.