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Cleveland Indians

Hitters need help -- from Westbrook

By Sheldon Published: May 4, 2010

CLEVELAND: In the wake of a slump that saw the Indians go hitless for more than six innings against near-rookie starter Brett Cecil Monday night, Manny Acta was asked what he would like starter Jake Westbrook focus on tonight against the Blue Jays.

""About seven innings, three hits and one run,'' the manager said. ""That would be a good focus.''

Acta was being less than serious, but his wish list might be necessary to give the Tribe a win after 10 losses in the past 14 games.

""Eighteen or more outs will give us an opportunity to score some runs,'' Acta said of his hopes for Westbrook. ""We don't want to be playing catch-up baseball again.''

In addition to having his hitters mired in a prolonged slump, Acta's pitching staff has given a home run in the first or second inning of the past four games.

Westbrook began the season having been absent from the mound for almost two years, while he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He has yet to win (0-2, 5.53 ERA) in five starts and has been trying to scrape off the rust built up over the long months of inactivity.

In particular, Westbrook has struggled with his command. Even so, Acta does not think that getting his first victory of the season is preying on Westbrook's mind.

""I don't think Jake is that kind of guy,'' the manager said. ""I don't think that (not having) the win is killing him.''

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