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Carmona strong again, pitches Indians past Royals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

CLEVELAND -- Fausto Carmona is putting himself in position to make the American League All-Star team.

Carmona won his seventh consecutive decision, leading the Indians over the Kansas City Royals 8-3 Thursday.

"The people picking the team are going to have to consider him," Cleveland catcher Victor Martinez said. "He's throwing the ball great."

Franklin Gutierrez, Jason Michaels and Casey Blake homered for the Indians, who built an 8-1 lead and improved to 21-7 at home this year.

Carmona (7-1) has a 2.77 ERA in nine starts since April 13, when he made his first start of the season and was beaten 6-4 by Chicago. He allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings against the Royals, striking out five and walking one.

"I'm not thinking about the All-Star game, and I'm not thinking about how well I'm doing," he said through interpreter Luis Rivera, the Indians first base coach. "I'm concentrating on my next start and the hitters I'll have to face."

Carmona throws 95 mph-plus, with a sinker that dives out of the strike zone.

"I haven't caught anyone like him," Martinez said. "His ball moves a lot. It's really tough on hitters."

Carmona was slated to start the season at Triple-A Buffalo but joined Cleveland's rotation because of injuries to Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook.

Kansas City scored in the seventh on a triple by Alex Gordon -- who went 4-for-4 -- and an RBI single by Buck. With two outs and runners on first and second, DeJesus hit a tapper to the right of the mound that Carmona fielded and tossed to first.

"I knew he was the guy I had to get," Carmona said. "I threw him a sinker and he hit it back to me."

His only walk was to David DeJesus leading off the game. The Royals had a runner on third base in the second and third innings, but Carmona pitched out of trouble both times.

"This young man has done a lot of work to be the pitcher he is," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "He has a fantastic sinker. He trusts his stuff and he's obviously pitching with a great deal of confidence."

Three of Gordon's four hits came off Carmona.

"Carmona likes to throw the fastball early in the count and then go to the sinker," he said. "I just came in with the mindset to be aggressive and attack."

Rafael Betancourt pitched a perfect eighth, lowering his ERA to 1.48, and Tom Mastny gave up a two-run single to Joey Gathright in the ninth.

Odalis Perez (3-6) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander is 1-4 in his last eight decisions.

"Today wasn't my best day, but when I left in the sixth we were still in the game," he said. "It wasn't a bad outing, but I am the loser, I gave up the three runs."

Kansas City has lost 11 of its last 14.

"I see some signs (of breaking out)," manager Buddy Bell said. "We just need to get a few guys going."

Josh Barfield hit an RBI double in the fourth off the left-field wall, Gutierrez homered in the fourth on a drive that just cleared the wall in right and Michaels homered in the sixth. All three of Gutierrez's career home runs have come against Kansas City.

Cleveland added five runs in the eighth off Brandon Duckworth and Zack Greinke. Blake extended his hitting streak to a career-high 16 games with a two-run homer, and Grady Sizemore added a two-run double.

Blake's homer off Greinke came on the 13th pitch of the at-bat.

"It's nice to be on a streak, but I don't care about that," he said. "I just want to help us win. "

Notes

  • Gordon entered in a 1-for-23 slump.
  • The Royals activated RHP Joakim Soria from the 15-day DL and optioned RHP Ryan Braun to Triple-A Omaha. Soria was placed on the DL on May 26 with shoulder inflammation.
  • Westbrook (strained left abdominal) is to make his second rehabilitation start for Double-A Akron on Friday.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Safe! Cleveland's Franklin Gutierrez scores on a double from Grady Sizemore during the eighth inning.  (AP)
Safe! Cleveland's Franklin Gutierrez scores on a double from Grady Sizemore during the eighth inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

F. Carmona
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
Kansas City

A. Gordon
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4000114 .256
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4000022 .259
Mark Teahen, RF4010001 .281
Emil Brown, DH4000011 .218
Alex Gordon, 1B4240000 .190
Esteban German, 3B3000113 .252
John Buck, C4011013 .280
Tony Pena, SS3000001 .259
   a- Shane Costa, PH1100001 .186
Joey Gathright, LF4032010 .714
Totals3539327  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Pena in the 9th
Batting
2B - Alex Gordon (10, Carmona)
3B - Alex Gordon (2, Carmona)
RBI - John Buck (22), Joey Gathright 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Joey Gathright 2 (2)
SB - Joey Gathright (2, 2nd base off Carmona/Martinez)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - David DeJesus 1
DP - Grudzielanek-Pena-Gordon
E - Tony Pena (10, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Odalis Perez (L,3-6) 5.1733342 5.68
Brandon Duckworth 2020210 2.51
Zack Greinke 0.2233101 5.72
HBP - Garko (by Odalis Perez)
WP - Zack Greinke (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Odalis Perez 100-60, Brandon Duckworth 44-25, Zack Greinke 29-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Odalis Perez 4-6, Brandon Duckworth 2-4
Batters Faced - Odalis Perez 25, Brandon Duckworth 9, Zack Greinke 5
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5122020 .278
Casey Blake, 3B4112111 .280
Travis Hafner, DH3010200 .272
Victor Martinez, C4010003 .315
Jhonny Peralta, SS3100124 .292
Ryan Garko, 1B3100000 .320
Jason Michaels, LF2211101 .277
Josh Barfield, 2B3022000 .245
Franklin Gutierrez, RF3211101 .235
Totals3089865  
Batting
2B - Grady Sizemore (10, Greinke), Victor Martinez (10, O. Perez), Josh Barfield (8, O. Perez)
HR - Casey Blake (9, Greinke), Jason Michaels (4, O. Perez), Franklin Gutierrez (2, O. Perez)
SF - Josh Barfield (1)
SH - Jason Michaels (1)
RBI - Grady Sizemore 2 (31), Casey Blake 2 (32), Jason Michaels (16), Josh Barfield 2 (29), Franklin Gutierrez (3)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore 2 (19), Casey Blake 2 (11), Franklin Gutierrez (2)
SB - Grady Sizemore (18, 2nd base off O. Perez/Buck)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Blake-Barfield-Garko
Cleveland Indians
Fausto Carmona (W,7-1) 7711150 3.11
Rafael Betancourt (H,12) 1000010 1.48
Thomas Mastny 1222110 5.55
WP - Fausto Carmona (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Fausto Carmona 100-64, Rafael Betancourt 13-9, Thomas Mastny 28-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Fausto Carmona 10-5, Thomas Mastny 1-1
Batters Faced - Fausto Carmona 28, Rafael Betancourt 3, Thomas Mastny 6
Game Information
Attendance - 19315
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Troy Fullwood, Third Base - Jim Wolf