Indians 14, Angels 5

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Travis Hafner hated to leave Anaheim so much, he was the last guy out of the shower in the Cleveland Indians’ clubhouse.

Hafner hit three homers to match a major league record with five in two games, leading the Indians to a 14-5 rout of the Anaheim Angels on Tuesday.

“Hitting three home runs is pretty special because it doesn’t happen very often—especially to me,” said Hafner, who had a three-homer game in Double-A ball and another in college. “I guess I can enjoy this one on the plane ride.”

Hafner, who went deep in the third, fifth and ninth, was the second player to hit three home runs Tuesday, joining St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols.

He had two homers and five RBIs in Monday night’s 8-5 victory—including a go-ahead, three-run shot in the 10th against Troy Percival.

“This is just a place that I’m really comfortable playing in and it’s got a good backdrop,” Hafner said. “I see the ball pretty good here and I was able to put some good swings on the ball.”

Hafner’s six RBIs gave him 11 in the two-game series, tying Earl Averill’s franchise record for a two-game span. Averill did it in a doubleheader against the Washington Senators on Sept. 17, 1930.

The last time two major league players hit three homers on the same day was Aug. 10, 2002, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That day, Sammy Sosa connected three times for the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field, and Philadelphia’s Mike Lieberthal did it in Los Angeles.

Twenty-six players have hit five homers in a two-game span, a feat accomplished 28 times in all. Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner and Mark McGwire each did it twice. The last Cleveland player to do it was Manny Ramirez, on Sept. 15-16, 1998.

It was the second three-homer game by an Indians player this season. Victor Martinez did it Friday at Seattle, when Cleveland tied a franchise mark with eight home runs.

Cleveland hit six Tuesday against the Angels, including solo shots by John McDonald and Coco Crisp and a three-run drive by Martinez in the eighth. The Indians have homered in a season-high eight straight games and have hit 23 during this stretch.

Hafner raised his home run total this season to 17, three more than he hit as a rookie last year. His two drives off Jarrod Washburn (10-5) and a solo shot in the ninth against Francisco Rodriguez made him the seventh player to hit three homers in a game this season.

“I don’t think Travis is a streak hitter,” McDonald said. “I’ve been watching his at-bats all year, so I’ve seen his patience at the plate, the pitches he swings at and the pitches he doesn’t swing at.

“He’s hit a lot of balls hard and made a lot of solid outs, so he’s been a very consistent hitter all year. He’s definitely a big lift in the middle of our lineup, and he lifts the guys around him.”

All-Star Jake Westbrook (7-5) won for the first time in seven starts since June 14, when he beat Baltimore 14-0 with a four-hitter. The right-hander was charged with five runs and 10 hits in seven-plus innings after being staked to a 10-1 lead through six.

“It helps a lot because it allows you to go after guys and be aggressive, which is the way I like to pitch, anyway,” Westbrook said.

Washburn allowed 10 runs—nine earned—and a career-worst 13 hits in 5 1-3 innings. It was the second time in four starts that the left-hander gave up four home runs. The Oakland Athletics did it against him July 1 in a 7-3 victory—also a day game.

“You shake your head, try to laugh it off and worry about the next one,” Washburn said. “It’s not hard to forget about something like this.”

The first four batters singled in Cleveland’s three-run first. Matt Lawton and Martinez had run-scoring hits, and Hafner added a sacrifice fly.

During that rally, third baseman Chone Figgins lost Lawton’s foul pop in the sun, extending the at-bat, and Washburn’s pickoff throw to second on Crisp went into center field because no one covered the bag. Washburn also didn’t cover first base on a fielder’s choice grounder by Casey Blake, preventing a possible double play.

The Indians got four more runs in the third. A two-out walk to Blake preceded Hafner’s three-run homer to right, and Mark Little added an RBI single.

Hafner went deep again in the fifth, this time to center. McDonald, the Indians’ No. 9 hitter, also tagged Washburn leading off the sixth. Two batters later, Crisp homered on Washburn’s 100th and final pitch, extending the margin to 10-1.

Anaheim’s first two runs came on an RBI single by Robb Quinlan in the fifth and Jeff DaVanon’s homer in the seventh. Figgins chased Westbrook in the eighth with Anaheim’s fourth consecutive hit, a two-run single.


Washburn also allowed four solo homers on June 20, 2002, at Dodger Stadium in a 5-2 loss. … Hafner entered with three home runs in 195 career at-bats against left-handers. Before this two-game series with the Angels, he had one homer and four RBIs in 39 career at-bats against Anaheim pitchers.

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