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Sabathia throws five-hitter for seventh career shutout

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- C.C. Sabathia took the mound almost certain he needed to pitch a shutout. So he did.

Sabathia (4-8) pitched a five-hitter for his seventh career shutout as the Cleveland Indians defeated Minnesota, 1-0, extending the Twins' season-high losing streak to six games Tuesday.

"He was outstanding in every way," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. "He was as strong late, if not stronger, than he was early. He's one of the greatest pitchers in the game."

Sabathia has received an average of only 2.1 runs a game over his last nine starts, so when Ryan Garko doubled home a first-inning run off Scott Baker (2-1), the left-hander figured he had better make it stand up.

"My job is to keep it close and give us a chance to win," Sabathia said after pitching Cleveland's first 1-0 decision over the Twins since Sam McDowell in 1969. "If that means giving up five and we score six, fine. Tonight, though, I felt it was the best I've been all year."

Sabathia didn't allow a baserunner after the fourth, striking out five without a walk in his second shutout of the season. He blanked Oakland 2-0 on May 14 -- but had been 0-3 in four starts since.

Cleveland's ace, a 19-game winner a year ago, retired the last 17 in a row. He was helped by some bad baserunning by the Twins. Minnesota has lost six straight for the first time since Sept. 12-16.

The Indians earned their second win a row for the first time since sweeping three games from Oakland, May 13-15.

"C.C. was the story," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He shut us down, used all his pitches. I know what his record is this year, but he's tough. The home plate umpire (Joe West) said that's the best he's seen him the last two or three years."

Still, the Twins had a quick opportunity to get ahead when rookie Carlos Gomez opened the game with a single and went to second on a bunt single by Alexi Casilla. After Joe Mauer lined out to left, Justin Morneau hit another line drive towards left-center. But Ben Francisco caught it without trouble and easily doubled off Gomez, who had already rounded third base.

"He was running with his head down," Gardenhire said of Gomez. "He has to watch the ball. That was a young player's mistake."

In the third, Matt Macri got a bunt single, but was caught breaking for second by Sabathia.

In the fourth, Mauer singled, but was doubled off when Morneau hit a liner to second baseman Josh Barfield.

"They hit some balls hard, but it's always good to get double plays," Sabathia said.

Baker gave up one run and eight hits over seven innings. Francisco doubled with one out and scored on Garko's two-out single to center in the first.

"I didn't feel my stuff was overpowering," said Baker, who walked one and struck out one. "I feel it was a pretty good start, but Sabathia was dominating."

Baker, sidelined most of May with a strained right groin, became the first Twins starting pitcher to work at least seven innings in 12 games -- since Kevin Slowey's complete-game win May 29 against Kansas City.

Notes

  • Minnesota has lost 18 of its last 27 games in Cleveland.
  • Indians 2B Josh Barfield left in the top of the sixth with a strained left middle finger.
  • Tuesday was the 49th anniversary of Rocky Colavito hitting four homers in one game for Cleveland and the 42nd anniversary of Sonny Siebert's no-hitter for the Indians against Washington.
  • Casilla's bunt hit was his eighth in a row off Sabathia and extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games. He's 9-for-13 (.692) in his career against Sabathia.
  • Twins C Mike Redmond went 1-for-3 and is 13-for-26 (.500) overall against Sabathia.
  • Indians C Victor Martinez went 1-for-4. After batting .350 (28-for-80) through the end of April, he has hit .217 (25-for-115) in May and June.
 
Copyright 2014 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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C.C. Sabathia does not allow a hit after the fourth and fans five in his second shutout this season. (AP)
C.C. Sabathia does not allow a hit after the fourth and fans five in his second shutout this season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

C. Sabathia
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 0
K 5
Cleveland

R. Garko
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Minnesota Twins
Carlos Gomez, CF4010000 .278
Alexi Casilla, 2B4010010 .330
Joe Mauer, C3010012 .327
Justin Morneau, 1B3000002 .296
Michael Cuddyer, RF3000000 .249
Mike Redmond, DH3010010 .311
Delmon Young, LF3000001 .266
Brendan Harris, SS3000011 .245
Matt Macri, 3B3010010 .381
Totals2905005  
Batting
CS - Matt Macri (1, 2nd base by Sabathia/Martinez)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
DP - Morneau-Harris-Baker, Morneau-Harris
Minnesota Twins
Scott Baker (L,2-1) 7811110 3.60
Matt Guerrier 1100000 3.47
HBP - Blake (by Scott Baker)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Baker 95-59, Matt Guerrier 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Baker 4-13, Matt Guerrier 1-2
Batters Faced - Scott Baker 28, Matt Guerrier 4
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4010001 .261
Ben Francisco, LF4110001 .300
Victor Martinez, C4010002 .279
Ryan Garko, 1B4021001 .269
Jhonny Peralta, SS4000002 .227
David Dellucci, DH3020000 .241
Casey Blake, 3B2010001 .244
Shin-Soo Choo, RF2000111 .308
Josh Barfield, 2B2000003 .000
    Jamey Carroll, 2B1010000 .225
Totals3019111  
Batting
2B - Ben Francisco (14, Baker)
RBI - Ryan Garko (35)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Garko (13)
CS - David Dellucci (1, 2nd base by Baker/Mauer)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ben Francisco 1
DP - Francisco-Barfield, Barfield-Garko
Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia (W,4-8) 9500050 4.34
Pitches-Strikes - C.C. Sabathia 106-77
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.C. Sabathia 6-13
Batters Faced - C.C. Sabathia 29
Game Information
Attendance - 26874
Game Time - 2:06
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Ed Rapuano, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - James Hoye