Cleveland (22-28) at Anaheim (32-20)

Clear Currently: Anaheim, CA, US
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Thu Jun 3, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Cliff Lee looks to keep his unbeaten record intact and slow down Vladimir Guerrero when the Cleveland Indians open a four-game series with the Anaheim Angels.

Lee, who went 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA for the Indians as a rookie last year, has been even more impressive in his first 10 starts for 2004. The 6-foot-3 left-hander owns a perfect 5-0 mark with an American League-leading 2.87 ERA.

On Friday, Lee limited Oakland to four hits over 6 1-3 innings, helping Cleveland to a 1-0, 10-inning victory. He struck out a career high-tying eight and walked five.

“I just tried to make quality pitches and get an out anyway I could,” Lee said. “I had pretty good command of my fastball, though.”

Lee escaped a fifth-inning jam by striking out Eric Chavez and Jermaine Dye to strand a pair of runners.

“Whenever I had guys in scoring position, I had to make some big pitches, and I came through,” Lee said.

Lee has yielded two earned runs or fewer in all but two of his 10 starts, surrendering four and three runs in the other two outings.

The Indians had won four straight before dropping two in a row to Texas, including Wednesday’s 5-3 setback. Cleveland closer Rafael Betancourt yielded a pair of solo homers in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“I made bad pitches, and that was it,” he said. “I didn’t do my job.”

The blown save was Betancourt’s fourth in six chances.

The Angels completed a two-game sweep of Boston with Wednesday’s 10-7 victory as Guerrero established a team record with nine RBIs. Guerrero went 4-for-4 with two homers, including a three-run shot off Mike Timlin that put Anaheim ahead to stay.

Guerrero’s RBIs were the most in the majors since Boston’s Bill Mueller had nine at Texas last July 29. Guerrero leads the AL with 49 RBIs this season.

Anaheim has won three of its last four to move 2 1/2 games in front of Texas for first place in the AL West.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Lee PHI vs. K. Escobar MIL
14-8 Record 11-12
5.43 ERA 3.93
161 K 191
81 BB 76
1.50 WHIP 1.29