Indians blank Athletics againMay 15, 2008 - 6:35 AM By Todd Krepop PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- C.C. Sabathia has turned the boos into cheers.
Sabathia pitched his first shutout of the season to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
Grady Sizemore and Ryan Garko each hit solo home runs for the Indians, who have won five of their last six games.
It was Cleveland's major league-leading seventh shutout of the season and fifth in their past eight games.
On April 16, Sabathia departed the game after giving up nine runs in four innings to boos from the home fans at Progressive Field. On Wednesday, the same fans gave him a standing ovation as he came out of the dugout to start the ninth inning.
"That felt good especially having being booed off (a month) ago," he said. "It felt good to have the crowd behind me to finish the game."
Sabathia has turned his season around since that game and has seemed to regain the form that led him to the 2007 American League Cy Young Award. Since his disastrous start of the season, Sabathia is 3-2 in his last five outing with a 1.48 ERA.
"I'm just throwing strikes," Sabathia said. "The biggest thing is I am not walking guys. I am getting ahead and putting guys away."
"That's the Cy Young Sabathia that normally steps up," Oakland's Mike Sweeney said. "If he pitches like that the rest of the year, the contract Johan Santana signed will look cheap."
Sabathia's performance was the latest superb outing by a member of the Indians' rotation. Cleveland's starting five hasn't given up a run in 43 1/3 consecutive innings.
"I can't recall anything like this," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "It's pretty special stuff what they are putting together right now."
"That's pretty special," Indians third baseman Casey Blake said. "It came at a great time for us, especially when the offense isn't clicking on all cylinders. All we need is one run a game to win ballgames."
Sabathia (3-5) continued that dominating trend with another stellar outing. He yielded four hits and two walks while striking out 11 en route to his first shutout since June 5 against Kansas City.
"Oakland makes you throw strikes," Sabathia said. "I just wanted to throw strikes on both sides of the plate, make them swing early and try to put guys away."
A's starter Joe Blanton (2-6) made only two mistakes, but that was enough to cost him a chance for the win.
Sizemore gave Sabathia some early run support when he led off the first with his team-leading seventh home run. Sizemore blasted Blanton's 1-0 offering over the left field wall for his 14th career leadoff home run.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Sizemore about the Indians' starters. "Offensively, we want to get on the board and help these guys out, but they're taking matters into their own hands right now."
Garko's fourth homer of the season increased the lead to 2-0. Garko hit Blanton's 1-1 pitch to left field for his second home run in as many nights.
Those were the only runs Blanton allowed in seven innings. He held the Indians to only four hits and struck out four.
"I knew runs were going to be few and far between," Blanton said. "I just tried to keep it close."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1
CLEVELAND 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 2 5 0 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: OAK - JOE BLANTON, KEITH FOULKE (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
CLE - C.C. SABATHIA AND VICTOR MARTINEZ
HOME RUNS: OAK - NONE
CLE - GRADY SIZEMORE (7) OFF JOE BLANTON IN THE
May 14 9:14 PM
AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN GARKO (4) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2 OUT
IN THE 4TH OFF JOE BLANTON.
CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0, CLEVELAND 2
DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: A CABRERA (.200, 0-FOR-1)
Athletics 0, Indians 2 Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 14 8:05 PM
AT CLEVELAND - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY GRADY SIZEMORE (7) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
OUT IN THE 1ST OFF JOE BLANTON.
CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0, CLEVELAND 1
DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J PERALTA (.202, 6 HR, 13 RBI)
Athletics 0, Indians 1 Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 14 7:12 PM
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