Nothing fancy about him. Burba just gets batters

By Tom Withers Associated Press Published:

Nothing fancy about him. Burba just gets batters out. And wins.

Burba was his typical self Tuesday night, pitching seven strong innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Angels.

"We need that every time from Burba," Indians manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's been taking us where we need to go."

Burba (5-1) allowed one run and six hits to improve to 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA in six career starts against the Angels. The right-hander has been Cleveland's steadiest starter this season, working at least seven innings in five of his last six starts. The Indians are 7-3 in his starts.

Burba, who primarily throws a splitter and fastball, relied on his curveball to keep the Angels guessing.

During spring training, Burba, whose arm problems in last year's playoffs led to the Indians losing to Boston, said he would give his arm a break this year by not throwing as many curves.

"Am I allowed to change my mind?" he asked.

Burba went out to the mound to pitch the eighth and made his warmup tosses before Indians pitching coach Dick Pole came out. After a short discussion, Burba was replaced by Scott Kamieniecki.

"We had decided earlier that that was it," Burba said. "They just wanted to make sure Kamieniecki was ready."

Burba allowed just one walk and struck out five.

"You can only do what you're capable of doing," Burba said. "You can't do more. If you try, all you do is put pressure on yourself, and that's not good."

Burba said he and catcher Sandy Alomar, playing for the first time in six games, clicked from the first pitch.

"I think the reason I pitched a great game was that I went with Sandy's calls all night," Burba said. "I have to tip my hat to him. Whatever he put down, I threw. We were working together like apple pie and ice cream."

David Justice went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and Omar Vizquel had two hits and two steals for the Indians.

Cleveland, ravaged by injuries this season, learned Tuesday that All-Star right fielder Manny Ramirez will miss at least a week with a strained left hamstring.

Ramirez was not available for Tuesday's game and could be placed on the disabled list Wednesday.

Scott Schoeneweis (5-3) didn't get any help from his defense in his first career start against Cleveland. The left-hander gave up three earned runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Anaheim shortstop Benji Gil made two errors _ Nos. 12 and 13 _ this season and third baseman Troy Glaus had a costly error _ his 13th _ in the second inning.

Still, Schoeneweis felt as if he was the one let his team down.

"After the errors I should not have given up any more runs," he said. "And as far as errors, it was my job to pick up my teammates and I didn't. They pick me up in the field and at the bat. That was my turn."

The errors by Gil and Glaus helped the Indians take a 3-0 lead in the second.

Justice singled with one out and Alex Ramirez hit a grounder that Gil kicked around. Richie Sexson hit a hard grounder that was fielded cleanly by Glaus, who threw wildly into right field allowing two runs to score.

"Take away those misplays and it's a completely different game," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "Usually we make those plays, too. We need to tighten up our defense."

Bengie Molina hit an RBI triple off the wall in left-center with two outs for the Angels' lone run in the fourth.

Justice's two-run double in the sixth made it 6-1.

Notes: Indians RHP Paul Shuey had surgery on his right hip in San Francisco on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum. He is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks. ... Looking for help at shortstop with Gary DiSarcina lost for the year, the Angels signed INF Kevin Stocker. ... Indians 3B Travis Fryman grounded into his first double play of the season in the third inning, leaving Boston's Mike Stanley as the only player without a GIDP this season. ... Molina is batting .542 (26-for-48) during his career-high, 12-game hitting streak.

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