Indians
Twins
6 - 2 Final
  for this game

Carmona shuts down Twins as Indians complete series sweep

Sep 5, 2007 - 10:03 PM By Brian Hall PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- There was no suspense of a no-hitter for Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Baker. Rather, Fausto Carmona produced a gem this time around.

Carmona pitched into the eighth inning and the Cleveland Indians plated three first-inning runs against Baker en route to a 6-2 triumph over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the 16th victory in the last 20 games for the Indians, who completed a three-game series sweep of the Twins and improved to 14-4 this season against their American League Central Division rivals.

Cleveland (81-58) also climbed 7 1/2 games ahead of the Detroit Tigers (73-65), which hosts Chicago later Wednesday. In posting their second three-game sweep of the Twins in the past week, the Indians moved 12 1/2 games clear of the defending division champions.

"We just came out of a really big slump, everybody was in a big slump," Indians catcher Victor Martinez said. "But its 162 games and sometimes you expect that. When you find a team that wins 162 games, come and tell me. But, definitely we are playing good right now. We just try to keep on rolling."

Carmona (15-8) doesn't get the publicity of his more-heralded teammate, lefthander C.C. Sabathia. But he has put himself right in the thick of the AL Cy Young Award race in just his second season in the majors.

Carmona's 15th win puts him two behind league-leaders Josh Beckett of Boston and Chien-Ming Wang of New York. Carmona also lowered his ERA to 3.27, good for eighth in the league.

"They have both been very consistent for us all year," said Indians manager Eric Wedge of Carmona and Sabathia. "They are both big game pitchers. Fausto has come so far in a short period of time."

However, Carmona might have been set up for success in this one. Minnesota's offense is last in the league in runs scored, and Carmona entered the game second in the league in day ERA (2.11) and fourth in road ERA (2.86).

The righthander improved to 2-1 against the Twins this season, yielding two runs, eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

"I left some balls up in the zone," Carmona said. "Pitching on this turf as a sinkerballer is hard. But you can't change the way you pitch. You have to hope they hit it at the infielders."

Lefthander Rafael Perez recorded the final five outs of the contest for his first career save.

"Fausto commanded the ballgame throughout," Wedge said. "He took us about as deep as you could want, and Perez did a great job after that."

Cleveland got all the runs they would need in the first inning off the Baker, who went eight innings into a perfect game his last time out against Kansas City.

The first five batters reached base against Baker (8-7) , who hit two batters and gave up a single and two doubles in the inning. Travis Hafner plated Grady Sizemore with a double to open the scoring and Victor Martinez followed with a double to right, driving home Asdrubal Cabrera and Hafner.

But Baker would settle down from there. The righthander recorded two strikeouts and a ground ball to get out of the inning.

"Each start is its own start, regardless of what the previous outcome was," Baker said. "I keep reiterating results are a by-product. I go out there and put in the work that is needed for each start and I just take it from there."

The Indians would threaten with runners in each of his five innings - including a bases-loaded threat in the fourth - but Baker shut the door each time.

The Indians stranded nine baserunners against Baker and 11 in the game. Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer nailed Ryan Garko at home to end the fifth inning for his league-leading 18th outfield assist.

"Baker was Houdini a little bit," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "It seemed like the leadoff hitter was on every inning. But he found a way to get through it. He found a way to leave them out there and made some big pitches when he had to in big situations."

Baker simply ran out of gas, leaving the game after five innings having thrown 97 pitches - including a 36-pitch first inning. He gave up the three runs and 11 hits, striking out six in the process.

Minnesota drew within 3-2 with a two-run fifth. Luis Rodriguez plated Brian Buscher with a sacrifice fly to right field and Torii Hunter followed with an RBI single, scoring Nick Punto.

However, Cleveland added three crucial insurance runs in the ninth thanks to Jhonny Peralta's RBI double and Kenny Lofton's two-run pinch-hit single.

Martinez had two hits and two RBI while Hafner and Peralta each added two hits and an RBI for Cleveland, which is three contests into a 10-game road trip.

"The big key right now is Hafner is doing well," Lofton said. "When I first got over here, he was struggling a little bit, but it seems like right now he is starting to pick it up and that is big for this team."

Casey Blake chipped in three hits for the Indians, who kick off a four-game road series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - the top team in the AL West.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 15 1
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 8 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA, RAFAEL PEREZ (8TH) AND VICTOR MARTINEZ
    MIN - SCOTT BAKER, NICK BLACKBURN (6TH), PAT NESHEK
    (9TH) AND CHRIS HEINTZ

    HOME RUNS: CLE - NONE
    MIN

    Sep 5 4:11 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENNY LOFTON SCORED TRAVIS HAFNER AND JHONNY
    PERALTA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, K LOFTON ON FIRST, F GUTIERREZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 6
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.269, 3-FOR-4)

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 4:08 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JHONNY PERALTA SCORED ASDRUBAL CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J PERALTA ON SECOND, T HAFNER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 4
    MINNESOTA 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: F GUTIERREZ (.264, 0-FOR-4)

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 4:07 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 4:07 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 3:45 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TORII HUNTER SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HUNTER ON FIRST, J TYNER ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.281, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 2:52 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY LUIS RODRIGUEZ SCORED BRIAN BUSCHER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J TYNER ON FIRST, N PUNTO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.289, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 2:50 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 3 3 3 0
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA
    MIN - SCOTT BAKER

    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J TYNER (.293, 1 HR, 18 RBI)
    L RODRIGUEZ (.220, 2 HR, 10 RBI)
    T HUNTER (.288, 27 HR, 9

    Indians vs. TwinsSep 5 1:33 PM
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    2buthy5 Added 5 roots

    Indians vs. TwinsJul 14 2:43 AM