Tony Gwynn: Early season surprises
DETROIT (AP)—Fausto Carmona left quite an impression in his major league debut.
Carmona (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to replace C.C. Sabathia (abdominal strain), gave up five hits to help the Indians snap a three-game losing streak. He walked two and struck out four.
“He was very good,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “He had a power sinker working and he did a good job of utilizing his breaking ball as well as his changeup.”
Carmona got just as much praise from the other clubhouse.
“It’s always tough when you don’t even have tape of a pitcher, but this kid’s different,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I was very impressed. He’s the real deal.”
While Carmona shined, Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman (1-2) struggled. He lost his second start in a row, giving up seven runs and eight hits with a walk in 3 2-3 innings. The Tigers have lost five of six since a 5-0 start.
“I got my butt kicked, plain and simple,” he said. “I didn’t give us a chance to win the game.”
Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer in the first and sparked Cleveland’s five-run fourth inning with a leadoff double. Hafner’s seventh home run moved him into a tie for the major league lead with Detroit’s Chris Shelton.
“I think it was great for Haf to get us going early, especially with a young pitcher on the mound,” Wedge said. “Bonderman is an outstanding young pitcher as well, but we had some good at-bats against him.”
Casey Blake drove in another run with a base hit, and after Grady Sizemore grounded into a force play, Todd Hollandsworth’s two-run double made it 7-0. Jordan Tata then relieved Bonderman and got Jhonny Peralta to fly out to end the inning.
Hollandsworth also gave Carmona some help in the field, reaching over the left-field fence to rob Marcus Thames of a two-run homer in the fourth.
“I was able to get back to the wall and get a gauge on it,” he said. “I was actually waiting for it to come down. I made a good jump and brought it back.”
The Tigers loaded the bases against Carmona in the fifth and sixth, but only got one run out of it—Brandon Inge’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning.
“I’m very happy—I feel great,” Carmona said through an interpreter. “I was just keeping the ball down and moving the ball in and out.”
Omar Infante doubled in a run in the eighth for the Tigers, who finished with seven hits.
“We’ve got no excuses—we just have to remember that we are a better team than that,” Craig Monroe said.
Indians C Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a first-inning single. … Monroe struck out in his first three at-bats then singled in the ninth to snap his streak of six consecutive strikeouts. … The Indians placed reliever Fernando Cabrera (heel) on the disabled list to make room for Carmona, while the Tigers put DH Dmitri Young (quadriceps) on the disabled list and recalled outfielder Alexis Gomez from Triple-A Toledo. … Carmona is a product of Cleveland’s Dominican Academy.