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Boone, Westbrook lead Indians past Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- If the Cleveland Indians played like this at
home, they'd be well ahead in the AL wild-card race.

Casey Blake and Aaron Boone homered, and Jake Westbrook pitched
into the seventh inning to lead the surging Indians to a 4-1
victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

Cleveland began the day one game behind the New York Yankees and
Oakland in the wild-card race. They're 41-27 on the road, compared
to 32-31 at home.

"We definitely have to improve at home," Blake said. "We have
the same approach. It's just the way it has gone this year."

The Indians have won nine of 11 overall and are a major-league
best 19-7 since July 31.

Blake and Boone didn't have an explanation for why they're so
much better on the road.

"You'd like that home record to be a little higher," Boone
said. "Hopefully, we can get a little over .500 at home and keep
pushing on the road."

The Indians went 5-2 on their road trip to Tampa Bay and
Toronto. They return home to play Detroit on Monday.

"We've put ourselves in a good position going into this last
month now. We just have to keep going," Boone said. "This was a
good road trip for us."

Reed Johnson drove in the lone run for the Blue Jays, who have
lost eight of 10 to fall to 65-65.

Blake homered off Josh Towers (10-10) to tie the game at 1-all
in the third, and Boone homered off Towers in the seventh to give
Cleveland a 4-1 lead.

"Those just happened to be perfect mistakes for those hitters.
Those two home runs, they aren't very good hitters. Nothing for
nothing, but they are hitting .240 for a reason," Towers said.

Westbrook (13-13) has gone 7-1 over his last eight starts. He
allowed one run on eight hits, while striking out three and walking
one in 6 1/3 innings.

"The way the year started out my goal was to get to .500,"
said Westbrook, who was 6-12 at one point. "Now my goal has
changed."

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 39 chances as
the Indians won despite being outhit 8-6.

Towers, who had won three of his previous four decisions,
allowed four runs -- three earned -- on five hits in seven innings.

"It looks like a halfway decent line but the fact that I made
four mistakes and they jumped all over them for extra-base hits,
it's just not acceptable," Towers said. "Those home runs were not
acceptable, bad pitches in great counts for me."

Toronto's Gregg Zaun and Eric Hinske hit consecutive singles in
the second before Johnson gave Toronto a 1-0 lead with an RBI
single.

Blake homered over the center-field wall in the third, his 17th.

Jhonny Peralta led off the fourth with a double and scored on
Travis Hafner's double. Hafner advanced to third when Johnson's
throw from right field hit him and trickled into the outfield.
Victor Martinez followed with an RBI grounder to make it 3-1.

Boone hit his 12th homer in the seventh, a towering shot into
the second deck in left.

Game notes
Ernie Whitt's daughter sang the national anthems. Whitt is
Toronto's first base coach. The first 10,000 fans received an Ernie
Whitt bobblehead. ... DH Hafner has reached base safely in 94 of
105 games.