- The Washington Times - Monday, June 14, 2004

CLEVELAND (AP) — John McDonald has made a point of not looking at the scoreboard when he steps into the batter’s box.

Given that he was hitting .107 going into yesterday’s game, that’s understandable. Things are looking up, however, after a 4-for-4 performance in the Cleveland Indians’ 14-0 blowout of the Baltimore Orioles.

Jake Westbrook pitched his first major league shutout as the Indians won their fourth straight game.

“I don’t want to see that I’m barely hitting .100 and if I get a hit, I might be hitting .120,” McDonald said. “That’s not a good thing to look at.”

McDonald’s career day raised his average to .219.

Westbrook (6-2) pitched a four-hitter for his first shutout in 43 career starts. He struck out four and walked two in his third career complete game.

“It means a lot,” Westbrook said. “Any first you get in the majors is pretty special. It’s very, very nice.”

Westbrook has won three of his last four starts and hasn’t lost since May22. His 2.70 ERA is the lowest among AL starting pitchers.

The Indians, who have won eight out of 10, moved within a game of .500 at 30-31.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are moving in the opposite direction, having lost six of their last nine games.

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli held a team meeting after Sunday’s 7-3 loss to San Francisco, but he didn’t meet with his players yesterday.

“What am I going to say to them?” he asked. “They must be frustrated. I hope they are after a game like that.”

The game was a makeup from a May2 rainout at Jacobs Field, but the circumstances were tougher on the Orioles. They flew in from Baltimore on Sunday night on their way to Los Angeles, where they begin a three-game series tonight.

The Indians made matters even tougher on the Orioles by scoring seven runs in the third — their biggest inning of the season — and six more in the fifth.

“The seven runs made me feel more relaxed, and to get another six was great,” Westbrook said.

Casey Blake led the Indians with three RBI. Coco Crisp, Lou Merloni, Jody Gerut and Tim Laker each drove in two runs. Merloni had two of the Indians’ eight doubles.

All the third-inning runs came with two outs. Blake’s two-run single and two-run doubles by Merloni and Laker highlighted the big inning. McDonald added an RBI single.

“I don’t know how many hits they got in a row,” Mazzilli said. “It was bang, bang, bang.”

Eric DuBose (4-5) was charged with eight runs in 22/3 innings. He gave up six hits and walked four.

Notes — Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons (back spasms) was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He started as the designated hitter and was 0-for-3. Tim Raines Jr. was sent back to Class AAA Ottawa to make room for him … Melvin Mora, who didn’t start for the first time this season Sunday, was back at third base for Baltimore.

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