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Recap: Nationals , Indians
 •  BT Movements
Game: 5
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: June 11, 2010 7:05 PM EDT

CLEVELAND (AP) -Austin Kearns' good health has the Cleveland Indians feeling fine, too.

Kearns drove in four runs with two homers against his former team as the Indians beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Friday night.

``Austin is the ultimate pro and it's good to see him healthy,' Indians manager Manny Acta said.


Travis Hafner also homered to help give Acta a win in his first game against the team that fired him last July 13. That was only a month after Washington drafted Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander, coming off a sensational 14-strikeout debut, will make his first road start Sunday in Cleveland.

Jake Westbrook (4-3) gave up two runs over 7 1-3 innings as Cleveland won for the fourth time in five games, depriving Washington of its first four-game winning streak.

Kearns hit a three-run shot off Luis Atilano (5-3) in the first inning. He hit the first pitch of the fourth for a 5-1 lead and his fourth multiple homer game, first since June 4, 2006, at Houston.

``Before we came in here I was glad to see him doing well,' Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said. ``I wish we had done a better job on him tonight.

``He's a strong man. Anytime he walks up there, he has a chance to do some damage and he did it.'

Kearns holds no animosity toward the Nationals, who made him a free agent in November. He signed a minor-league deal with Cleveland in January and is playing regularly with outfielder Grady Sizemore out for the year after knee surgery.

``It doesn't matter which team it is, I want to win, not just against them,' he said.

The 30-year-old was limited to 80 games a year ago by a right thumb injury that required surgery in August. The previous year, he had right elbow surgery and played only 86 games.

Kearns' bid for a third homer was caught by leaping center fielder Nyjer Morgan at the wall in right-center in the seventh.

``I knew it was going to be close, but I'm not surprised Nyjer came up with it,' Kearns said. ``He can play.'

Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana went 0 for 3 with one run and a walk in his big-league debut. The switch-hitter, who hit .310 with 57 homers and 265 RBIs in 317 minor-league games, was called up from Triple-A Columbus - and quickly tested on defense.

Morgan opened the game with a single and took off for second on the first pitch to Ivan Rodriguez. Santana, converted from an infielder to catcher in 2007, threw out the speedster with a quick, accurate throw.

``Wow,' Santana said through an interpreter. ``That felt good. I knew it was a team that could run.'

Rodriguez then doubled and scored on a double by Adam Dunn for a 1-0 lead.

``Carlos' throw was huge,' Westbrook said. ``It would have been at least 2-0 without it. He was great back there all night.'

Trevor Crowe's two-run single off reliever Tyler Walker made it 7-1 in the sixth.

Chris Perez came on with the bases loaded and got Ryan Zimmerman to hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the eighth. Perez finished for his sixth save in nine chances.

Atilano, a rookie, allowed six runs over five-plus innings, dropping to 4-1 in six road starts. All three first-inning runs he allowed were unearned due to an error by second baseman Adam Kennedy.

Westbrook improved to 4-1 in seven starts since May 11. The right-hander, who missed much of 2008 and all of 2009 after having Tommy John surgery, struck out five. That was the most since he fanned eight in a complete-game win at Baltimore on May 16.

Acta was greeted warmly by several Nationals players during batting practice. Hired to his first big-league job in 2007, he received a few manager of the year votes that year before injuries took their toll in a 102-loss season in 2008. Washington was 26-61 at the All-Star break a year ago when he was dismissed.

Earlier this week, Acta refused to blame the Nationals for letting him go. He said he felt ``grateful' that he was fired, because it gave him the opportunity to pursue the job in Cleveland after the Indians fired Eric Wedge at the end of a 97-loss season in 2009.

NOTES: RHP Chad Ogea, winner of two games in the 1997 World Series, signed autographs before the game as part of the Indians' alumni program. ... Cleveland sent C Lou Marson to Columbus to make roster room for Santana. ... Morgan, Rodriguez and Dunn went a combined 6 for 9. The rest of the Nationals were a combined 1 for 21. Dunn has hit .339 (40 for 118 with seven homers and 21 RBIs since May 9. ... Kearns, Hafner and Jhonny Peralta were a combined 6 for 11 with five extra-base hits.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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