Everything about Julian Tavarez looks older than 20 - his face, his poise and his pitches. Teammate Sandy Alomar suggests that might not be his real age.

"The guy's only 20 years old. That's what he says," laughs the Cleveland catcher, who is 26. "And I'm 19."Tavarez (2-1) held the aging heart of Boston's lineup - 30-year-old Mike Greenwell and 39-year-old Andre Dawson - hitless in eight at-bats Thursday night. He fooled the Red Sox with sinkers and sliders in seven strong innings as the Indians won 5-1.

Even if he was born on May 22, 1973, in the Dominican Republic, as the Indians say, he certainly can't be just one month removed from Class A, can he?

That's also shocking, but true.

Is Cleveland manager Mike Hargrove surprised by Tavarez's performance?

"Age-wise, maybe," he said. "Experience-wise, maybe not. He's played a lot of baseball. He's got good mound instincts.

"Twenty is awfully young, but Bob Feller pitched at 17, so it's been done, but I'm not comparing them at all."

Tavarez pitched two years in the Dominican League, then spent 1992 in Class A. That's where he was this year until July 19, when he was promoted to Canton-Akron of the Eastern League.

He won his first two games there, holding the New Britain Red Sox scoreless through 17 innings. He was 2-1 before skipping Triple-A and jumping to Cleveland on Aug. 7.

Tavarez didn't make too many mistakes for Boston to capitalize on. He struck out five and gave up his only walk in the seventh inning. But he got out of a first-and-second jam by striking out the side. Jeremy Hernandez worked the last two innings.

Royals 4, Twins 2

David Cone struck out a season-high 11 in seven shutout innings and pitched Kansas City past Minnesota at the Metrodome.

George Brett hit a 455-foot home run as the Royals won their fourth straight game. The Twins lost their third in a row.

Cone (9-11) gave up three hits and walked two. He struck out Kirby Puckett three times, once with the bases loaded to end the third inning.

Brett broke out of a 2-for-29 slump with his 14th home run and an infield hit. Brian McRae also homered for Kansas City, against Eddie Guardado (3-5).

Angels 5, Brewers 4

Tim Salmon homered for the fourth straight game and California won in the bottom of the 12th inning on a wild pitch by Graeme Lloyd. The Angels stopped their three-game losing streak and sent Milwaukee to its fourth straight loss.

Salmon, who leads major league rookies with 28 home runs and 81 RBI, connected for a two-run shot in the fourth inning.