With one groundbreaking game, Kazuhito Tadano got beyond the video. Ronnie Belliard hit the first of Cleveland's four homers Friday night, clearing
the way for the Japanese college star to win his first start for the Indians, 15-2 over the Cincinnati Reds. Tadano, who was shunned by Japanese pro
teams aware that he had appeared in a gay porn video, got his first keepsake moment in the majors - first win, first hit, first run.
It was a huge step for a pitcher who is still learning the language and the majors.
Belliard said. "He doesn't talk much. He just sits in the corner and says nothing. We talk to him and try to make him
Throwing 90 mph fastballs from his jerky delivery, the right-hander struck out 10 in seven innings - the most by an Indians pitcher since Chuck Finley
fanned 10 Detroit Tigers on May 28, 2002.
Right from the start, teammates sensed it was his night.
"You could tell from the first inning, when he struck out the side,"
catcher Victor Martinez said. "He was just on fire, man."
Tadano (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits. He even rounded out his night by getting a single in his first big-league at-bat and scoring a run.
"My location was great when it needed to be,"
he said, through a translator.
The Indians made it easy for the rookie by piling their most runs since Aug. 5, 2001, when they overcame a 12-run deficit and beat Seattle 15-14.
Belliard hit a two-run homer in the third off Jesus Sanchez (0-1) that got the Indians rolling. Martinez, Coco Crisp and Casey Blake added three-run
shots off a staff that has given up eight homers in the last two games. Cleveland is 4-0 against its intrastate rival this season. The Indians swept a
three-game series at Jacobs Field last month with three late comebacks, and lead the interleague series 19-12 overall.
That first matchup included one raw moment. Cliff Lee was ejected for throwing a pitch behind Ken Griffey Jr.'s head. Griffey was out of the lineup
Friday for the fourth straight game because of a sore calf. Both benches were immediately put on notice by plate umpire Paul Schrieber when Phil
Norton's first pitch in the sixth inning flew behind Belliard, who thought it was on purpose.
"But it didn't hit me, and we won the ballgame,"
There were no other dustups on a night that belonged to Cleveland's first Japanese player.
Tadano, 24, made seven relief appearances in two stints with Cleveland this season before getting the chance to fill in for C.C. Sabathia, who is
recovering from a sore shoulder. He was one of Japan's top college pitchers, but didn't get drafted after a Japanese tabloid published photos of him
from the porn video. He signed with the Indians and was one of their top pitchers last year in the minors, where he told teammates about the video. He
also asked forgiveness during a news conference in Cleveland last January, saying he appeared in the video only because he needed money.