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Lofton gets 2,000th hit08/25/2004 8:55 PM ET
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Many of Kenny Lofton's greatest moments have come in Cleveland, so it's only fitting that the veteran notched his 2,000th career hit at Jacobs Field against his former club on Wednesday night.
Lofton's milestone hit came in the fourth inning, as he singled to center field against Indians right-hander Jake Westbrook.
"I was happy for him," said manager Joe Torre. "Doing it here, in a place where he's had a lot of success, it was nice."
The Cleveland crowd acknowledged the former Indians All-Star with a nice ovation after he reached first base, and he tipped his batting helmet to the fans to recognize their applause.
"I didn't know what to expect. I figured I'd get a few claps. It was touching," Lofton said. "I tipped my hat, but they just kept going. If there was a storybook way for me to get it, to get it in Cleveland, it was something to remember."
The hit was Lofton's 587th at Jacobs Field, lifting his lifetime average at the Jake to .308. Lofton played for the Indians from 1992-96 and 1998-2001, helping Cleveland to the American League Championship in 1995.
"I don't know where it ranks, because a lot of good things happened in this ballpark," Lofton said. "This is just another chapter in the book."
Lofton's pursuit of 2,000 was a long one, as he collected just three hits in his last 23 at-bats, dating back to Aug. 12. By contrast, Bernie Williams notched hits No. 1,997 to 2,000 in four consecutive at-bats this season, reaching the milestone on June 10.
"It was a relief to finally get to 2,000," Lofton said. "It's kind of ironic that I got it in Cleveland. It was good to get an ovation from a crowd I played for for nine years."
Lofton became the 235th player in history -- 25th active -- to reach 2,000 hits. The last to accomplish the feat was Larry Walker, who did it June 30.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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