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McCarthy, Haeger hold Indians to two hits

Sep 28, 2006 - 3:56 AM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- Brandon McCarthy and Charlie Haeger may be auditioning for starting spots in the 2007 rotation of the Chicago White Sox.

McCarthy pitched 5 1/3 solid innings as the White Sox posted a rain-shortened 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

The game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 58 minutes. Chicago was batting with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the eighth.

McCarthy (4-7) allowed one run, two hits and a walk while striking out a career-high eight to win his second start of the season. The 6-7 righthander had lost his only other start this season, a 10-7 setback to Tampa Bay on May 16.

"I wanted to have a good outing to end the season," McCarthy said. "I felt pretty good. It's probably the best I have pitched all year. If it turns out to be an audition, that would be fine."

McCarthy spent almost all of the season in the White Sox bullpen.

"I feel more comfortable as a starter," McCarthy said. "Every pitch doesn't have to be perfect. You can work around your mistakes."

The 23-year-old yielded only one hit before Andy Marte hit a one-out homer in the sixth that cut Cleveland's deficit to 2-1. After a walk to Grady Sizemore, Haeger relieved McCarthy and struck out Franklin Gutierrez before Chris Stewart threw out Sizemore trying to steal second.

"(McCarthy) is a starter," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He was always supposed to be a starter. We wanted him to pitch this year and get the experience of pitching up here."

Haeger worked 1 2/3 perfect innings of relief for his first career save. Making his sixth major league appearance, the knuckleballer struck out two.

"Obviously we can't make a decision on next year yet about who will be starting or not," Guillen said. "We have to see what happens and what we have next year."

Ross Gload had two hits, including a first-inning home run that gave Chicago a 1-0 lead. It was just his third homer of the season.

Chicago loaded the bases in the sixth with a hit and two walks off starter Fausto Carmona before Alex Cintron hit a sacrifice fly, plating Jerry Owens to make it 2-0.

Carmona (1-10) allowed two runs and six hits, walking two and fanning a career-high six. The rookie righthander, who was sent to the minor leagues after a failed stint as the closer, suffered his 10th straight loss since winning his major league debut at Detroit on April 15.

(Carmona) threw the ball outstanding tonight," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "His focus over his last two starts has been better."

Cleveland also was held to a season-low two hits in an 11-0 loss to Chicago on May 29.

"(McCarthy) didn't make many mistakes," Marte said. "The pitch he made to me was a mistake. It was over the plate and I didn't want to miss it."

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