for this game

Carmona dominant as Indians blank Royals

Sep 16, 2007 - 3:16 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Fausto Carmona is putting together a second half to remember.

Carmona pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 6-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.

The win reduced the Indians' magic number for clinching the American League Central Division to nine. Cleveland (87-61) remained 5 1/2 games ahead of Detroit (82-67), which edged Minnesota on Saturday.

Carmona (17-8) has been sensational in the second half, going 7-4 with an AL-best 2.19 ERA since the All-Star break. The young righthander matched teammate C.C. Sabathia with his 17th win of the season.

After failing as the Indians' closer last season, Carmona has bounced back to form a dynamic 1-2 punch with Sabathia. While Sabathia has gotten most of the consideration for the Cy Young Award, it is Carmona who leads the AL with a 3.07 ERA.

"I'm not thinking about (the ERA)," Carmona said through an intepreter. "I'm just thinking about the next start. Maybe it will go lower next time."

"I'd think it's safe to say he's deserving of plenty of consideration," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Carmona rarely was in trouble against a Kansas City team that has lost nine of its last 10 games. The closest the Royals came to scoring was in the third, but Carmona induced Mark Grudzielanek to hit into an inning-ending grounder with runners on the corners.

"He's not going to come from the same spot every time," Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez said. "The biggest thing for him is to stay in control and put his mechanics together. When he is like that, he is really tough to hit."

That proved to be the last inning the Royals had a baserunner, as Carmona retired the last 16 batters he faced, beginning with Grudzielanek. Lefthander Rafael Perez struck out the side in the ninth.

"I was feeling good," Carmona said. "I got in a groove. It was the first time I've retired that many hitters in a row."

Carmona yielded just three hits and struck out nine without a walk, throwing 73-of-103 pitches for strikes in improving to 3-0 against the Royals this season.

"His ball was moving a little more than it has in the past," Kansas City's Shane Costa said. "His ball moved a lot and he had a good slider and changeup."

Sabathia and Carmona became the first pair of Indians to record 17 wins in a season since Charles Nagy and Bartolo Colon each won 17 in 1999.

The Royals know just how good Cleveland's top two starters are, having faced Sabathia and Carmona in the first two games of this three-game series.

"We've scored in one inning out of how many?" Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "Sabathia has 17 wins and the kid (Carmona) has 17. We're not the only team they have done this against. Sometimes you just got to tip your cap."

Cleveland took advantage of an error by Kansas City first baseman Ross Gload to take a 1-0 lead in the first. Grady Sizemore led off the game with a slow grounder to first, but Gload threw the ball behind pitcher Zach Greinke, who was racing to cover the base.

Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a double off the right field wall, scoring Sizemore from first.

A solo home run by Travis Hafner in the third doubled the Indians' advantage. With one out, Hafner deposited Greinke's 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for his 22nd blast of the season.

That was all Greinke surrendered, as he kept the Indians off-balance for most of his outing. The Royals' first-round pick in 2002, he allowed two runs - one earned - and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking five and striking out three.

However, it was not enough to keep up with Carmona.

"Carmona was amazing today," Greinke said. "Just watching him pitch, he would have shut anybody down. The stuff he had was really impressive."

It was the first loss by Greinke since rejoining the rotation on August 24. In his five starts since, he is 1-1 with a 0.73 ERA.

"I felt good," Greinke said. "There were some at-bats, though, where I lost command."

Cleveland broke open the game with a four-run eighth, highlighted by Casey Blake's two-run RBI single.

Despite the victory, Cleveland received a scare in the eighth, when Ryan Garko was hit on the right hand by shortstop Jason Smith's wild throw while beating out a grounder for an infield single. Garko left the game for a pinch runner but believes he should be able to play Sunday.

"We were just playing it safe," Garko said. "I don't see any problem with it."








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

    BATTERIES: KAN - ZACK GREINKE, LEO NUNEZ (6TH), JIMMY GOBBLE (7TH), RYAN BRAUN
    (8TH) AND JASON LARUE
    CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA, RAFAEL PEREZ (9TH) AND VICTOR
    MARTINEZ

    HOME RUNS:

    Sep 15 10:05 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CASEY BLAKE SCORED KENNY LOFTON AND FRANKLIN
    GUTIERREZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C BLAKE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CLEVELAND 6 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.275, 0-FOR-4)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 15 9:34 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ SCORED JOSH BARFIELD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F GUTIERREZ ON SECOND, K LOFTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.266, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 15 9:33 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY JASON SMITH ALLOWED VICTOR MARTINEZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R GARKO ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CLEVELAND 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.269, 2-FOR-3)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 15 9:24 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TRAVIS HAFNER (22) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF ZACK GREINKE.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0, CLEVELAND 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: V MARTINEZ (.306, 0-FOR-1)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 15 7:55 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A CABRERA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 0
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.256, 21 HR, 91 RBI)

    Royals vs. IndiansSep 15 7:19 PM