Drese Looks Strong As Indians Get Past Maddux, Braves

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Jim Thome and Bruce Aven each hit two-run homers Thursday as the Cleveland Indians beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2.

Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Vinny Castilla, but Cleveland roughed up Braves' starter Greg Maddux for four runs in the third.

Brady Anderson led off with a single and advanced to third on a double by Omar Vizquel. Travis Fryman then hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Gary Sheffield, allowing Anderson and Vizquel to score.

Thome then homered, well over the right-field fence.

The Indians added two more runs in the eighth on Aven's pinch-hit, two-out homer off Kerry Ligtenberg.

Atlanta got its other run in the ninth on a solo homer by Wes Helms, who is competing with Julio Franco for the Braves' starting job at first base.

Ryan Drese started and picked up the win for Cleveland, allowing two hits and one run over three innings. He struck out three and walked two.

Maddux took the loss for Atlanta in his second start of the spring, giving up four hits and three earned runs in three innings. He had six strikeouts.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)