Haffner hits three HRs

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The Associated Press

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

Hafner drove in six runs and finished the two-game series with 11 RBIs, tying Earl Averill's franchise record.

Hafner also became the second player to hit three home runs Tuesday, joining St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols.

The last time two major league players hit three homers on the same day was Aug. 10, 2002, according to 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 last Friday at Seattle, when Cleveland tied a franchise mark with eight home runs.

They hit six 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's third homer of the day leading off the ninth inning raised his season total to 17, three more than he hit as a rookie last season.

Hafner is the seventh player to hit three homers in a game this season.

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.

Jarrod Washburn (10-5) 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 Washburn gave up four home runs. The Oakland Athletics did it against him July 1 in a 7-3 victory -- also a day game.

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 homered again in the fifth, this time to center. 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.

McDonald, the Indians' No. 9 hitter, also tagged Washburn leading off the sixth with his third career homer and first since May 7, 2003, at Anaheim against John Lackey. 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.

Notes: 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. ... Cleveland 2B Ronnie Belliard was hit hard on the back by Scot Shields' pitch in the eighth and was replaced by a pinch-runner.

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