for this game

Carmona's stellar pitching lifts Indians over Orioles

Apr 29, 2007 - 9:35 PM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Although he missed out on the shutout, Fausto Carmona is leaving the Cleveland Indians' rotation on a high.

Carmona allowed one run in 8 1/3 strong innings as the Indians captured the rubber game of a weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles with a 6-1 victory on Sunday.

Yielding just four hits and a pair of walks through the first eight innings, Carmona (2-1) began the ninth with the chance to record the first shutout this season for both the Indians and himself.

However, the 23-year-old righthander could not seal the deal, giving up a solo home run to Aubrey Huff after retiring the first batter of the frame. He also allowed a one-out single to Jay Gibbons before being lifted in favor of Rafael Betancourt.

"The guy pitched great," Gibbons said. "It looks like you have something good to hit, but all of his pitches have a little sink to them. Nothing was in the middle."

Betancourt got a strikeout and a popout to close Cleveland's seventh win in its last eight games.

Despite the late struggles, Carmona allowed just six hits and two walks with a strikeout for his second consecutive win and his third straight start where he has yielded two runs or less.

"I have been getting ahead of hitters and keeping the ball down," Carmona said through a translator.

"(Carmona's) learning to control himself," catcher Victor Martinez said. "He's not overthrowing and trying not to do to much. He's been keeping the ball down."

That was evident on Sunday as Carmona recorded 18 ground-ball outs.

Even with his latest outing, Carmona will more than likely be bounced from the rotation due to the return of the injured Cliff Lee, whose spot in the starting five Carmona was filling.

"I wasn't thinking about that because I can't control that," Carmona said. "I was just worried about pitching today. Whatever happens will be up to them."

"I can't say enough about his performance (this year)," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "With Cliff down, he really stepped up for us. That's what it takes for us to win this season. Guys stepping up."

Lee is scheduled to make his first start Thursday against Toronto, and Wedge has been noncommittal whether Carmona will remain with the team in the bullpen - where he struggled last season - or be sent to the minor leagues.

"We don't have to make the decision today," Wedge said. "One way or another it will be a tough decision."

Carmona got all the offense he needed as the Indians scored three runs in the first two innings against Orioles starter Jaret Wright (0-3).

After Grady Sizemore and David Dellucci both worked walks to lead off the bottom of the first, Wright struck out slugger Travis Hafner before Martinez delivered a two-run single.

"(Wright) was a little wild," Martinez said. "We put together some good at-bats and gave us a lead."

Martinez, who was thrown out trying to advance to second on the play, has knocked in a team-leading 17 runs in 15 games this season.

In the second, Wright retired Shin-Soo Choo leading off the frame before Casey Blake made it 3-0 by drilling a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence for his second home run of the season.

Blake reached base three times, drawing a pair of walks.

With young third baseman Andy Marte placed on the disabled list Monday, Blake has started to warm up his frigid bat, hitting .276 (8-for-29) with five RBI in his last seven games. Blake entered the game hitting just .215 on the season.

Cleveland added three runs in the eighth as Trot Nixon and Jhonny Peralta both had RBI singles and Choo lifted a sacrifice fly.

Activated off the disabled list earlier Sunday, Wright struggled with ineffectiveness due to soreness in his right shoulder, allowing three runs, four hits and three walks in three innings.

"It doesn't feel too good," Wright said. "I tried to get through it. It felt bad and it kept getting worse. I wanted to go back out there, but I knew a miracle wasn't going to happen between the third and fourth innings."

Sidelined since April 11 with right shoulder soreness, Wright threw 60 pitches, including 31 for balls.

"He looked like he was pushing the ball," Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. "When your arm is not quite right, the first sign is command of the strike zone.

"I talked to him after the third inning and didn't get a positive response. I thought that was it for him. We're going to talk to Jaret and the trainer and make an evaluation."

Acquired from the New York Yankees in an offseason trade, Wright was making his first career appearance against Cleveland, a team that he started for during its trip to the 1997 World Series.

"It didn't feel any different," Wright said. "It was just like any other start."

Prior to Sunday, Wright had been 20-12 with a 4.44 ERA in 45 appearances - 43 starts - against teams currently in the American League Central.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BALTIMORE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0
    CLEVELAND 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 x 6 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BAL - JARET WRIGHT, BRIAN BURRES (4TH), JEREMY GUTHRIE (8TH) AND
    PAUL BAKO
    CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA, RAFAEL BETANCOURT (9TH) AND
    VICTOR MARTINEZ

    HOME RUNS: BAL - AUB

    Apr 29 3:38 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY AUBREY HUFF (3) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF FAUSTO CARMONA.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 1, CLEVELAND 6
    DUE UP FOR BALTIMORE: J GIBBONS (.183, 0-FOR-3)

    Orioles vs. IndiansApr 29 3:28 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY SHIN-SOO CHOO SCORED TROT NIXON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J PERALTA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    CLEVELAND 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.225, 1-FOR-1, 2 BB, HR, RBI)

    Orioles vs. IndiansApr 29 3:21 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JHONNY PERALTA SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J PERALTA ON FIRST, T NIXON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    CLEVELAND 5 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: S CHOO (.294, 0-FOR-3)

    Orioles vs. IndiansApr 29 3:20 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TROT NIXON SCORED DAVID DELLUCCI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T NIXON ON FIRST, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.216, 0-FOR-3)

    Orioles vs. IndiansApr 29 3:18 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CASEY BLAKE (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF JARET WRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J BARFIELD (.155, 1 HR, 9 RBI)

    Orioles vs. IndiansApr 29 1:39 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE AND DAVID
    DELLUCCI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BALTIMORE 0
    CLEVELAND 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T NIXON (.278, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

    Orioles vs. IndiansApr 29 1:25 PM