|Cleveland (20-16) «||0||1||1||0||3||0||0||0||0||5||10||0|
It was working so well Tuesday against Minnesota's languishing lineup that Lowe threw it a whole lot.
About 120 times.
Lowe posted his first shutout in nearly seven years, throwing a six-hitter and leading the Indians past the Twins 5-0. He became the first pitcher to throw a shutout without a strikeout since Scott Erickson for Baltimore against Kansas City on April 28, 2002.
"It's been a really gratifying start. Coming into this season there were so many questions about, `Are you done? Are you going to retire?"' Lowe said. "I worked my tail off, not just to prove people wrong but to get myself back to where I knew I should be."
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Shin-Soo Choo, the Indians' new leadoff man, scored after a leadoff double in the third inning and then hit the first of three Cleveland home runs in the fifth against Jason Marquis (2-3). Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana also homered to break the game open for Lowe (6-1), who induced four double-play grounders to win his fourth straight decision.
Lowe threw a season-high 127 pitches for his 10th career complete game, and first since Aug. 26, 2008, for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This was his fourth big league shutout, and first since Aug. 31, 2005, for the Dodgers at San Diego.
He said he threw "seven or eight" breaking balls the entire game. The rest were fastballs, and they sure did sink.
"You have to use your eyes. The hitters are the ultimate answer to what you're doing," Lowe said, adding: "Sometimes if you deviate from throwing fastballs, you give them a break. You just want to keep going at it until they make a big enough adjustment to make you change your plan."
The only time the Twins truly came close to scoring was in the seventh when they loaded the bases with two outs on two singles and a walk. But Alexi Casilla swung at the first pitch for a lazy fly to right field.
The first-place Indians rebounded from five losses in their previous six games with a two-game sweep at Target Field of the majors-worst Twins, who entered the game with the most groundballs hit in the league, an average of more than 14 per game.
This was Lowe's longest outing in eight starts this season. He's allowed three runs or less with six innings or more in seven of them. Acquiring Lowe from Atlanta for a minor leaguer has turned out to be arguably the best move the Indians made for 2012.
"He's one of the best teammates I've ever had," catcher Lou Marson said.
"He's probably got the most sink I've ever seen," said Twins rookie Brian Dozier, who had three hits. "He knows how to miss barrels."
Lowe joked to manager Manny Acta about his trust in leaving him in the whole game that he's "going to be 39, not 19" next month.
"He was going to stay out there until he got the shutout or gave up a run," Acta said.
Marquis gave up nine hits, five runs and two walks in five innings while striking out only two. The last time the Twins surrendered three homers in one inning was on Sept. 25, 2010, when Carl Pavano did it at Detroit.
Casey Kotchman punched an RBI single down the line to drive in Santana after a double to lead off the second. Then Choo's drive reached the left-field seats to start the fifth. Two batters later, Cabrera smashed an 0-1 sinker to the upper deck in right-center. Finally, Santana turned on a changeup and sent it just inside the pole down the right-field line.
|Derek Lowe notches his first shutout since Aug. 31, 2005. The 38-year-old allows six hits en route to his sixth win. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Shin-Soo Choo, RF||4||2||2||1||1||0||0||.245|
|Jason Kipnis, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||1||2||.271|
|Asdrubal Cabrera, SS||5||1||2||2||0||0||0||.319|
|Carlos Santana, DH||4||2||2||1||0||0||1||.260|
|Michael Brantley, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.268|
|Jose Lopez, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.200|
|Johnny Damon, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.149|
|Aaron Cunningham, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.217|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||3||0||1||1||1||0||1||.202|
|Lou Marson, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||5||.080|
|2B - Shin-Soo Choo (8, Marquis), Carlos Santana (6, Marquis)|
|3B - Michael Brantley (2, Marquis)|
|HR - Shin-Soo Choo (2, Marquis), Asdrubal Cabrera (4, Marquis), Carlos Santana (5, Marquis)|
|RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (14), Asdrubal Cabrera 2 (15), Carlos Santana (20), Casey Kotchman (12)|
|2-OUT RBI - Casey Kotchman (4)|
|SB - Michael Brantley (3, 2nd base off Marquis/Mauer)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Kipnis-A. Cabrera-Kotchman, Kipnis-A. Cabrera-Kotchman, Kipnis-A. Cabrera-Kotchman, J. Lopez-A. Cabrera-Kotchman|
|Derek Lowe (W,6-1)||9||6||0||0||4||0||0||2.05|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 127-76|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 18-5|
|Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 33|
|Darin Mastroianni, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.167|
|Joe Mauer, C||3||0||0||0||1||0||0||.270|
|Josh Willingham, LF||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.286|
|Ryan Doumit, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.252|
|Brian Dozier, SS||4||0||3||0||0||0||1||.297|
|Chris Parmelee, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||.179|
|Erik Komatsu, RF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.227|
|Alexi Casilla, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||4||.250|
|Jamey Carroll, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||.222|
|2B - Brian Dozier (2, Lowe), Alexi Casilla (5, Lowe)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Casilla-Dozier-Parmelee|
|Jason Marquis (L,2-3)||5||9||5||5||2||2||3||6.68|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 95-59, Anthony Swarzak 21-16, Brian Duensing 14-9, Alex Burnett 11-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 6-6, Anthony Swarzak 3-3, Brian Duensing 2-1, Alex Burnett 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 25, Anthony Swarzak 7, Brian Duensing 4, Alex Burnett 3|
|Attendance - 35732|
|Game Time - 2:27|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - James Hoye, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Mike Estabrook|