TORONTO (AP) – Casey Blake and Aaron Boone homered, and Jake Westbrook pitched into the seventh inning to lead the surging Cleveland Indians to a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

The Indians have won nine of 11 and are a major league best 19-7 since July 31. They began the day one game behind the New York Yankees and Oakland in the wild-card race.

Reed Johnson drove in the lone run for the Blue Jays, who have lost eight of 10 to fall to 65-65.

Blake homered off Josh Towers (10-10) to tie the game at 1-all in the third, and Boone homered off Towers in the seventh to gave Cleveland a 4-1 lead.

Westbrook (13-13) has gone 7-1 over his last eight starts. He allowed one run on eight hits, while striking out three and walking one in 6 1-3 innings.

Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 39 chances as Cleveland improved to 41-27 on the road. The Indians won despite being outhit 8-6.

Toronto’s Gregg Zaun and Eric Hinske hit consecutive singles in the second before Johnson gave Toronto a 1-0 lead with an RBI single.

Blake homered over the center-field wall in the third, his 17th.

Jhonny Peralta led off the fourth with a double and scored on Travis Hafner’s double. Hafner advanced to third when Johnson’s throw from right field hit him and trickled into the outfield. Victor Martinez followed with an RBI grounder to make it 3-1.

Boone hit his 12th homer in the seventh, a towering shot into the second deck in left.

Towers allowed four runs – three earned – on five hits in seven innings. He had won three of his previous four decisions.

Notes: Ernie Whitt’s daughter sang the national anthems. Whitt is Toronto’s first base coach. … DH Hafner has reached base safely in 94 of 105 games.

AP-ES-08-28-05 1510EDT


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