for this game

Carmona pitches Indians to brink of AL Central crown

Sep 22, 2007 - 3:23 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Fausto Carmona wasn't at his best, but he didn't need to be as Ryan Garko and Jhonny Peralta picked him up.

Carmona joined teammate C.C. Sabathia as an 18-game winner as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-3, on Friday.

The win reduced the Indians (91-62) magic number to two for clinching the AL Central and moved Cleveland into a tie with the Los Angeles Angels (91-62) for the best record in baseball. The Angels take on the Seattle Mariners later Friday night.

"(Carmona) has done an unbelievable job all season," Garko said. "It was great to pick him up tonight. He deserves the win. He's picked up so many times this season."

Carmona (18-8) allowed one run on five hits in six innings. The young righthander, who walked four and struck out seven, wasn't nearly as efficient as he had been in his last start as he threw 106 pitches - 65 for strikes.

"I was a little off in the first couple off innings," said Carmona through a translator. "I had to make a lot of pitches, but I made pitches when I had to and gave my team six innings."

Despite struggling with his control, Carmona lowered his league-leading ERA to 3.03 and kept the A's off the board to give his team a chance to take the lead.

"Carmona threw a good game," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He leads the league in ERA and he pitched like it today. His fastball has tremendous movement on it. He's a good one."

"I didn't have my best," Carmona said. "But I gave us a chance to win the game. It was nice for the guys to pick me up."

With the score tied at 1-1 in the sixth, Garko and Peralta led off the inning with back-to-back home runs off of Oakland starter Joe Blanton (14-10) to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. Garko blasted Blanton's 1-0 pitch over the left field wall, becoming the fifth Indian this season with 20 home runs.

"I was trying to make sure I was aggressive," Garko said. (Blanton) is sneaky." Peralta hit Blanton's next pitch the other way over the right field wall for his 21st home run and Cleveland went on for its 50th home victory - most since 1996.

"Jhonny could hit the ball out of any part of the ball park," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He has much power to right field as he does to left field."

The Indians kept the pressure on Blanton, as Kenny Lofton and Franklin Gutierrez followed with singles. After a sacrifice by Casey Blake, Blanton intentionally walked Grady Sizemore to load the bases. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a sacrifice fly giving the Indians an additional run.

"A lot of good things happened that inning," Wedge said. "You saw both sides of our offense that inning. At this point of year we don't care how we score, we just want to score."

The extra run turned out to be important as Jack Cust continued his dominance of the Cleveland Indians the next inning. With a runner on first in seventh, Cust hit reliever Rafael Perez's 1-1 pitch the opposite way for his 25th home run of the season, cutting the Indians lead to 4-3.

Cust has six home runs and 17 RBI in eight games against Cleveland this season.

"You see players do it throughout a career against certain teams," Wedge said. "Here in the short-term he's had his share of success against us."

However the A's wouldn't get any closer as Rafael Betancourt pitched a perfect eighth and Joe Borowski worked the ninth to pick up his AL-leading 43rd save in 49 chances. He struck out Cust for the final out.

Cleveland tied the score at 1-1 in the third on Victor Martinez's RBI double. Grady Sizemore led off the inning with a single but was erased on a fielder's choice.

After a groundout moved the runner to second, Martinez lined Blanton's 2-0 pitch into the gap in right-center. Blanton gave up four runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked three. The loss snapped Blanton's three-game winning streak.

"It was a tough one," he said. "I had a good first inning, but I had to battle in every inning after that. When you have four or five tough innings in a row, it will catch up to you."

Kurt Suzuki's RBI single in the second gave the A's a 1-0 lead. The loss stretched the A's losing streak to five and ended Oakland's (74-81) eight-year run of finishing above .500.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 8 0
    CLEVELAND 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 x 4 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - JOE BLANTON, JERRY BLEVINS (6TH), RUDDY LUGO (8TH) AND KURT
    SUZUKI
    CLE - FAUSTO CARMONA, RAFAEL PEREZ (7TH), JENSEN LEWIS
    (7TH), RAFAEL BETANCOURT (8TH), JOE

    Sep 21 9:55 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY JACK CUST (25) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF RAFAEL PEREZ SCORED DARIC BARTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3, CLEVELAND 4
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: D JOHNSON (.235, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 9:16 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ASDRUBAL CABRERA SCORED KENNY LOFTON.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, G SIZEMORE ON FIRST, F GUTIERREZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 4 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.252, 1-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 9:03 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JHONNY PERALTA (21) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF JOE BLANTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, CLEVELAND 3
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: K LOFTON (.298, 1-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 8:54 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN GARKO (20) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    6TH OFF JOE BLANTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1, CLEVELAND 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.271, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 8:53 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VICTOR MARTINEZ SCORED ASDRUBAL CABRERA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, V MARTINEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.292, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 8:05 PM


  • AL
    AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KURT SUZUKI SCORED JACK HANNAHAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K SUZUKI ON FIRST, M SCUTARO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    CLEVELAND 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J DAVANON (.233, 0 HR, 5 RBI)

    Athletics vs. IndiansSep 21 7:27 PM