CINCINNATI (AP) -- With one groundbreaking game, Kazuhito Tadano
got beyond the video.
Tadano, who was shunned by Japanese pro teams aware that he had
appeared in a gay porn video, got his first keepsake moment in the
majors -- first win, first hit, first run.
It was a huge step for a pitcher who is still learning the
language and the majors.
"He's easier-going," Belliard said. "He doesn't talk much. He
just sits in the corner and says nothing. We talk to him and try to
make him laugh."
Throwing 90 mph fastballs from his jerky delivery, the
right-hander struck out 10 in seven innings -- the most by an
Indians pitcher since Chuck Finley fanned 10 Detroit Tigers on May
Right from the start, teammates sensed it was his night.
"You could tell from the first inning, when he struck out the
side," catcher Victor Martinez said. "He was just on fire, man."
Tadano (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits. He even rounded out
his night by getting a single in his first big-league at-bat and
scoring a run.
"My location was great when it needed to be," he said, through
The Indians made it easy for the rookie by piling their most
runs since Aug. 5, 2001, when they overcame a 12-run deficit and
beat Seattle 15-14.
Belliard hit a two-run homer in the third off Jesus Sanchez
(0-1) that got the Indians rolling. Martinez, Coco Crisp and Casey
Blake added three-run shots off a staff that has given up eight
homers in the last two games.
Cleveland is 4-0 against its intrastate rival this season. The
Indians swept a three-game series at Jacobs Field last month with
three late comebacks, and lead the interleague series 19-12
That first matchup included one raw moment. Cliff Lee was
ejected for throwing a pitch behind Ken Griffey Jr.'s head. Griffey
was out of the lineup Friday for the fourth straight game because
of a sore calf.
Both benches were immediately put on notice by plate umpire Paul
Schrieber when Phil Norton's first pitch in the sixth inning flew
behind Belliard, who thought it was on purpose.
"But it didn't hit me, and we won the ballgame," he said.
There were no other dustups on a night that belonged to
Cleveland's first Japanese player.
Tadano, 24, made seven relief appearances in two stints with
Cleveland this season before getting the chance to fill in for C.C.
Sabathia, who is recovering from a sore shoulder.
He was one of Japan's top college pitchers, but didn't get
drafted after a Japanese tabloid published photos of him from the
porn video. He signed with the Indians and was one of their top
pitchers last year in the minors, where he told teammates about the
He also asked forgiveness during a news conference in Cleveland
last January, saying he appeared in the video only because he
The right-hander baffled the Reds from the outset with his jerky
delivery. He raises his arms high above his head, pauses, lifts his
front leg high and slings the ball before coming to an abrupt stop.
"He's got one of those (Hideo) Nomo type deliveries," said
third baseman Brandon Larson, who was 0-for-2. "He mixed his
pitches up real well."
Tadano struck out the first four Reds on 20 pitches. Then, he
lost his composure, walking Javier Valentin after the Reds loaded
It was his only major lapse, and he made up for it.
He singled to center in the fifth and scored on Belliard's homer
into the upper deck in left field, putting the Indians ahead to
stay and starting yet another drubbing of the Reds' pitching staff.
Manager Eric Wedge has noticed Tadano getting more mature as the
season goes along.
"We're taking it start by start now," Wedge said. "We've
always said he's a multiple-role guy. We're still not sure what his
role is, but you've got to take notice of the way he's throwing the
The Reds called up Sanchez because the Indians were only 9-17
against left-handed starters. Cleveland piled up three homers and
nine runs in the first five innings against Sanchez and left-hander
It's the Indians second visit to Great American. They
opened it with two preseason exhibitions last year, winning both
games. ... The Indians also hit four homers against the White Sox
on June 23. ... Reds OF Austin Kearns had surgery to remove a bone
spurt and scar tissue from his right thumb. He's expected to start
swinging a bat in three or four weeks. ... OF Adam Dunn struck out
twice. He leads the majors with 99 strikeouts.