Sabathia again stingy in latest Tribe triumph
By: By The Associated Press
It’s been nearly 60 years since the Cleveland Indians starting staff has had a run of stinginess as good as this.
The Indians starter haven’t allowed a run in 431/3 innings after C.C. Sabathia pitched a five-hitter on Wednesday night to beat Oakland 2-0.
“It’s pretty special stuff what they’re putting together right now,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “They’re going well beyond the call of duty right now. We just want them to give us a chance to win.”
The consecutive scoreless streak is the longest by an Indians starting staff since Bob Feller and Bob Lemon were part of a Cleveland rotation that tossed 47 scoreless innings in August 1948. It’s the longest by a major league team in one season since a 54-inning streak by Baltimore’s starters from Sept. 1-7, 1974, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Indians, who took a half-game lead over Minnesota, had not been alone in first this year and hadn’t even held a share of the lead since the opening week.
Cleveland became the first team to pitch five shutouts in an eight-game span since Oakland from July 12-19, 2002, according to Elias.
“It feels really good,” Sabathia said. “Everyone is working hard. Everyone wants to be that guy each night.”
In other games on Wednesday night it was: New York 2, Tampa Bay 1; Baltomire 6, Boston 3; Seattle 4, Texas 3, 12 innings; Toronto 6, Minnesota 5; Kansas City 2, Detroit 0; and Chicago 6, Los Angeles 1.
Sabathia (3-5) tied his season high for strikeouts with 11, walked two and won consecutive starts for the first time this season. He has a 1.49 ERA over his past five starts.
Sabathia pitched his sixth career shutout.
“He was outstanding tonight,” Wedge said. “His rhythm was dead on. He did a good job moving his fastball. His breaking ball was effective to both left- and right-handed hitters. There were situations where he had to make pitches to finish off innings, and he did that.”
Cleveland has won seven of nine and at 21-19 moved to two games over .500 for the first time since starting the season 2-0. Jhonny Peralta went 2-for-4 with two doubles, snapping an 0-for-15 slump.
Oakland has been held scoreless in its past 23 innings at Cleveland. The A’s put two on in the fifth, but Rajai Davis hit into an inning-ending forceout.
“It was another well-pitched game,” A’s manager Bob Geren. “What are you going to do? It seems like I have said this before. It seems like I sat here and said the same thing 24 hours ago.”
Yankees 2, Rays 1
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Robinson Cano went 4-for-4 and drove in a run to back the pitching of Mike Mussina, helping the Yankees end Tampa Bay’s six-game winning streak.
Mussina (6-3) allowed one run and five hits over 61/3 innings to win his fifth consecutive decision.
Cano, who tied a career high with four hits, had a RBI single in the fourth. Bobby Abreu drove in New York’s other run off James Shields (4-3) with a two-out double in the fifth, and shortstop Derek Jeter started a nifty double play to end a Tampa Bay threat.
Mariano Rivera bounced back from allowing the winning run in an 11-inning loss the previous night with a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
Orioles 6, Red Sox 3
At Baltimore, Jay Payton hit his fourth career grand slam to back a gritty pitching effort by Daniel Cabrera (4-1), and the Orioles rallied to beat the Red Sox.
Solo homers by Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell, and a defensive gem by Manny Ramirez weren’t enough to prevent the Red Sox from losing their fourth straight. It was the third consecutive game in which Boston blew a three-run lead.
After Craig Hansen (0-2) gave up a single to Guillermo Quiroz and walked Brian Roberts to load the bases, Payton hit the second pitch from Hideki Okajima into the left-field seats.
Mariners 4, Rangers 3
At Arlington, Texas, Miguel Cairo had a two-out RBI single in the 12th inning, and the Mariners avoided a sweep and kept the Rangers from reaching .500.
Wladimir Balentien led off the 12th with a single off Franklyn German (1-2), and Yuniesky Betancourt sacrificed. Balentien moved to third on a deep flyout by Ichiro Suzuki, who went 0-for-6 and ended a 13-game hitting streak. Cairo then singled up the middle.
J.J. Putz (1-1) worked two scoreless innings before Jarrod Washburn, the eighth pitcher used, came on in the 12th for his first career save.
Blue Jays 6, Twins 5
At Minneapolis, Matt Stairs hit a grand slam and Roy Halladay rebounded from a shaky start to help the Blue Jays beat the Twins.
Halladay (4-5) has been the victim of poor run support all season, getting only 3.14 runs per outing entering Wednesday. Stairs’ slam in the first inning gave the right-hander a 4-0 advantage.
Boof Bonser (2-5) took the loss.
Royals 2, Tigers 0
At Kansas City, Mo., Luke Hochevar pitched six strong innings and Joey Gathright drove in the only runs, helping the Royals beat the Tigers and hand Justin Verlander his AL-leading seventh loss.
Hochevar (3-2), the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, limited the Tigers to four singles while striking out five and walking three.
Joakim Soria completed the shutout, picking up his 10th save in as many chances with a perfect ninth.
Verlander (1-7) lost for the first time in 10 career starts against the Royals.
White Sox 6, Angels 1
At Anaheim, Calif., Carlos Quentin broke an eighth-inning tie with his first career grand slam, leading the White Sox over Los Angeles in John Lackey’s return to the Angels’ rotation.
Sidelined since March 21 because of a strained triceps, Lackey allowed one run and six hits in seven innings. He retired 14 of 15 batters during one stretch and finished with four strikeouts and one walk.
Jose Contreras (4-3) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since September.
Quentin, who tied a career high with five RBIs, broke a 1-1 tie when he connected in the eighth off Scot Shields (2-1).