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Lofton's Return To Cleveland A Big Hit

Kenny Lofton's first at-bat as a member of the Cleveland Indians in six years was anticlimactic. By the end of the night, however, fans were thrilled to have the veteran back. Lofton began his third go-round with Cleveland by getting three hits and playing left field for the first time as the Indians beat the visiting Minnesota Twins 10-4 on Friday night.

Jhonny Peralta added two home runs for Cleveland.

``It was emotional at first,'' said Lofton, who was traded from Texas for minor league catcher Max Ramirez earlier in the day. ``The fans were cheering and I was trying to calm myself down the first time up. I didn't know what to expect and it was nice to go out there and show the fans I have a little bit left.''

He struck out in his first at-bat, but provided a spark during the Indians' six-run third.

After Josh Barfield reached on an error and Sizemore walked, Lofton dropped a bunt that bounced off the plate, and by the time Bonser grabbed it, he had no chance of throwing out the speedster.

In other AL games Friday, it was New York 8, Baltimore 7 in the completion of a suspended game; Baltimore 4, New York 2; Boston 7, Tampa Bay 1; Kansas City 6, Texas 1; Chicago 4, Toronto 3; Los Angeles 11, Detroit 6; and Seattle 7, Oakland 1.

Lofton, a lifetime leadoff hitter and center fielder, batted second and played left. He finished 3-for-5 with an RBI in his first game for Cleveland since leaving after the Indians were eliminated in the 2001 playoffs.

That was the last time they made the postseason, and the Indians are hoping Lofton can help them get back.

``We got a shot in the arm,'' pitcher Paul Byrd said of Lofton's arrival. ``We got somebody who knows how to win in playoff situations, a gamer. We got a guy with character and a guy we are excited to have in the clubhouse.''

Lofton received a loud cheer as he ran out to left. The five-time All-Star center fielder could only recall playing there in an All-Star game.

He got tested right away at his new spot when Joe Mauer, Minnesota's No. 3 hitter, hit a fly ball that tailed away from Lofton, who caught it for the third out near the warning track before lofting it into the stands.

``Once I got that out of the way, getting it in a game situation, I was fine after that,'' Lofton said.

Peralta hit a three-homer in the third off Boof Bonser (5-7) and added a two-run shot in the sixth when the Indians opened a 10-0 lead for Paul Byrd (9-4).

Byrd allowed three earned runs and 10 hits in seven innings, and got the Twins to hit into three double plays.

Bonser gave up six runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings.

``A terrible game from our side,'' Gardenhire said. ``We didn't catch the ball or make plays and that's not good enough. It's getting embarrassing and that's what I told them. It's one thing to get beat and one to get embarrassed. That's not how it goes around here and we are not going to start now.''

Orioles 4, Yankees 2

Yankees 8, Orioles 7, susp. game

Rookie Jeremy Guthrie limited New York to two runs in six innings and host Baltimore won its fifth straight.

Earlier, the Yankees beat the Orioles in the completion of a game suspended on June 28 by rain. Play resumed in the eighth inning with the Yankees up 8-6, and closer Mariano Rivera gave up a run in a harrowing ninth before earning his 16th save.

That game officially occurred last month, so the Orioles won their seventh straight at home.

Guthrie (7-3) gave up six hits, struck out four and walked three. Chad Bradford, the fourth Baltimore reliever, worked the ninth for his first save.

Andy Pettitte (6-7) gave up three runs and eight hits in eight innings.

Red Sox 7, Devil Rays 1

Tim Wakefield (12-9) allowed one run over six innings and Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer to lead visiting Boston over Tampa Bay.

Jason Hammel (1-1) threw five scoreless innings, then was pulled after allowing consecutive one-out walks in the sixth. Youkilis, in an 0-for-11 slide, gave Boston a 3-1 lead with his three-run drive off Juan Salas.

Mariners 7, Athletics 1

Adrian Beltre hit a three-run double and Jose Guillen hit a two-run homer as host Seattle ended a season-high seven-game losing streak.

Felix Hernandez (7-6) allowed seven hits and one run _ a homer by Nick Swisher _ over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Angels 11, Tigers 6

Gary Matthews Jr. broke out of an 0-for-19 drought with three run-scoring hits and robbed Craig Monroe of a grand slam to lead host Los Angeles in the matchup of division leaders.

Jered Weaver (7-5) won for the first time in five starts. He pitched 5 1-3 innings, allowing six runs and a season-high 11 hits _ including solo homers by Placido Polanco and Curtis Granderson.

Nate Robertson (6-8) gave up eight runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Royals 6, Rangers 1

Brian Bannister (7-6) pitched seven shutout innings and Billy Butler hit a three-run homer for host Kansas City.

Butler homered in the first off Jamey Wright (3-3) to give Kansas City a 3-0 lead.

Sammy Sosa hit his team-leading 16th homer and the 604th of his career with two outs in the eighth to snap the Royals' 17-inning scoreless streak.

White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3

Jermaine Dye homered and Juan Uribe hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth inning to lead host Chicago.

Jon Garland (8-7) allowed three runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out two and walked one. Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect ninth for his 29th save.
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