Indians 10, Orioles 1
If Carmona has one regret, it’s that the Indians are done playing the Baltimore Orioles this season.
Travis Hafner hit a grand slam and Carmona allowed one unearned run in seven innings, leading the Indians to a 10-1 victory Monday for a split of the four-game series.
Carmona (3-1) was sent to Triple-A Buffalo two days after beating Baltimore on April 29 because there was no room for the right-hander in the rotation. But an abdominal injury to Westbrook led to his recall, and Carmona responded with another fine effort.
Starting for the fifth time this season, Carmona allowed seven hits, struck out two and walked one. Only one of Baltimore’s hits was for extra bases, a triple by Brian Roberts after third baseman Casey Blake received an error for dropping his two-out foul pop.
“Another great effort by Carmona. He didn’t miss a beat,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.
In two games against the Orioles, Carmona has allowed one earned run in 15 1-3 innings.
“He had great stuff in Cleveland,” Baltimore’s Aubrey Huff said. “You think, ‘OK, he just had great stuff that day.’ Today, he came out and did the same exact thing. I don’t care what team you are. If he’s throwing balls like that—keeping it down with that much sink (and) throwing 94—I don’t know many teams that can handle that.”
Speaking through a translator, Carmona said, “It was the same. I was just trying to get the ball down, stay ahead of the hitters. If I keep doing that, I’ll be OK.”
“This game is crazy. You’ve seen guys not get a hit in 15 at-bats but blister the ball all over the place,” Nixon said. “You just can’t explain some things. It’s not I’m doing this or doing that. You just go through these spurts.”
With eight hits in two games, Nixon lifted his batting average 67 points to .338.
“Trot’s been really swinging the bat,” Wedge said.
Orioles starter Steve Trachsel gave up one run and six hits in six innings. After his departure, the Indians scored nine runs in three innings against a Baltimore bullpen that during the offseason received a $42 million makeover.
“They’re going to get hit once in a while,” Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said. “I don’t think they’ve had their best stuff. They’re better than that.”
David Dellucci got it started with a pinch-single off Chad Bradford (0-1) in the seventh. After Josh Barfield singled, and Sizemore greeted John Parrish with an RBI double. Blake received an intentional walk to load the bases, Hafner struck out and Parrish forced in a run with a walk to Victor Martinez. Nixon lined a single to center.
Hafner was in a 6-for-40 (.150) slump before connecting in the eighth.
“I think that’s big for him,” Wedge said. “Hopefully it helps him relax a little bit.”
Early in the game, pitching dominated.
Cleveland got a run in the third on Sizemore’s RBI single.
Baltimore tied it with an unearned run in fourth. After Huff reached on a two-out throwing error by Barfield from second base, Melvin Mora got an infield hit and Huff scored on a single by Jay Payton. A walk loaded the bases for Corey Patterson, who hit into a fielder’s choice.
Cleveland missed a chance to take the lead in the sixth. Hafner drew a leadoff walk and went to third on a single by Nixon, who moved to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Garko followed with a fly ball to right, and Nick Markakis made a fine throw to get Hafner at the plate.
The Indians have won 12 of 15. … The Orioles purchased the contract of RHP Jon Leicester from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned LHP Kurt Birkins to the same club. … Baltimore has yielded four grand slams this season. The Orioles led the league in that department last year.