Series: Game 1 of 3

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 5/24)

Game 1: Friday, May 24
Cleveland 5Final
Toronto 2
Game 2: Saturday, May 25
Cleveland 3Final
Toronto 0
Game 3: Sunday, May 26
Cleveland 3Final
Toronto 1

Indians 5

(21-26, 9-16 away)

Blue Jays 2

(17-28, 8-15 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 24, 2002

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 200300000 5 - -
    TOR 000010010 2 - -

    W: R. Drese (5-3)

    L: J. Miller (3-2)

    S: B. Wickman (10)

    Rookie Drese wins third straight start for Blue Jays

    TORONTO (AP) -- A pregame hitters' meeting helped the Cleveland Indians snap out of a slump.

    Staked to a 5-0 lead in the fourth, rookie Ryan Drese won his third straight start as the Indians ended a four-game losing skid Friday night with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Ryan Drese

    Before the game, Cleveland manager Charlie Manuel met with his hitters for almost an hour to go over the scouting reports. Manuel said the meeting took longer than usual because his players talked about ways they could improve their hitting. Cleveland, which entered the game with a .241 average, had 10 hits in 36 at-bats.

    "It worked today,'' Omar Vizquel said of the meeting. "Hopefully, we can continue. We can't forget because usually when you have a meeting the first couple of days everybody is like 'Let's go,' then you fall behind again. We have to continue to do that.''

    Manuel also reworked the top of the lineup and it paid immediate dividends.

    Matt Lawton, who was moved from the third spot in the order, led off the game with a walk. Vizquel, dropped from the top spot, followed with an RBI triple off Justin Miller (3-2). Ellis Burks then hit an RBI grounder.

    "It was a big relief, man, because we haven't been getting ahead for awhile,'' Vizquel said. "We felt beat for awhile. We couldn't get anything going.''

    Jim Thome went 3-for-3 with two walks for the Indians, who also ended a six-game road losing skid.

    Drese (5-3) allowed one run and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old right-hander, who had lost three straight starts before his current win streak, struck out five and walked four.

    "The offense came up big for us early on,'' Drese said.

    The Indians took a 5-0 lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Vizquel and RBI singles by Burks and Thome.

    Miller allowed five runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

    Toronto's Shannon Stewart ended a career-high 0-for-20 slump with a double in the fifth inning. Rookie Eric Hinske followed with an RBI double.

    Hinske was impressed by Drese.

    "He located his fastball. He kept us off balance,'' Hinske said.

    Tom Wilson had a pinch-hit homer off David Riske in the eighth, cutting the lead to 5-2.

    Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities.

    Game notes

    The Indians have won just three of their last 13 games. ... Drese allowed just four hits in eight innings of a 4-1 victory over Kansas City in his last start. ... The Indians have won just four of their last 16 road games after starting the season 5-1. ... A woman was struck in the head by a foul ball in the seventh inning. The Blue Jays said the woman was OK ... Attendance was just 16,385. ... After this series, The Indians and Blue Jays don't meet again until Sept. 9. ... Toronto Manager Buck Martinez demoted struggling starter Brandon Lyon to the bullpen. Lyon went 1-3 with a 6.10 ERA in nine starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press