Brewers 6, Indians 4
“I’m grateful that I’ve been able to be consistent this year,” Capuano said. “It’s a nice feeling when you come out of the game and the team is in the game and you got a chance to win.”
Capuano (7-4) allowed six hits in seven strong innings. Cleveland pitcher C.C. Sabathia hit a two-run double in the fifth but that was it for the Indians against Capuano, who didn’t allow a walk.
“It’s an extension of doing what he’s done all year long,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said of Capuano, who has pitched at least six innings in each of his 15 starts.
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said Capuano did a nice job throwing his fastball, curve and changeup.
“But it was more about the location of his pitches and the way he kept us off balance,” he said.
Capuano, who is third in the NL with 93 strikeouts, has become the anchor of the Brewers’ staff. With Ben Sheets, Tomo Ohka and Rick Helling all serving time on the disabled list this season, Capuano has turned in 14 quality starts. However, since the beginning of May, his record is just 3-2 with four no-decisions in a span of nine outings.
Protecting a 4-0 lead, Capuano only allowed one hit in the first four innings, but the Indians got to him in the fifth.
Jhonny Peralta’s second hit in the game was a check-swing single to third with one out. Aaron Boone followed with a two-out double and both scored when Sabathia lined a shot off the wall in right, giving him six career RBIs.
Sabathia (5-3) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings as he faced the Brewers for the first time since June 12, 2001, at Jacobs Field during his rookie season.
“I felt like I threw well when I was throwing my pitches right. I ended up with nine strikeouts and too many walks,” said Sabathia, who walked two. “I felt like I was behind in the count all night.”
After an April stint on the disabled list, Sabathia went 5-1 with a 1.20 ERA in six May starts. June has been a much tougher month: He’s 0-2 with a no-decision in three outings for an 6.88 ERA.
“He came along as the game went on,” Wedge said.
Sabathia had a rough first inning. Rickie Weeks led off with a walk, took third on Brady Clark’s single to right and scored on Jeff Cirillo’s single. Both runners advanced on a double steal before Clark scored on a sacrifice fly by Lee. Bill Hall doubled in Cirillo and scored on Koskie’s single.
“We had some tough luck there in the first,” Wedge said. “One ball dropped in then a couple groundballs found holes.”
Koskie hit his eighth homer off Sabathia in the sixth and Lee hit his 22nd homer off Fernando Cabrera in the eighth to make it 6-2.
The Indians are nearly in an identical position as they were a year ago. Cleveland was in fourth place, 26-29, before going 11-1 in June interleague play.
This year they are 31-35 and started a string of 15 interleague games Friday night.
“There’s still time,” Sabathia said.
Cleveland placed OF Casey Blake on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained left oblique muscle, retroactive to June 14, and recalled OF Franklin Gutierrez from Triple-A Buffalo. … Brewers rookie 1B Prince Fielder and RF Geoff Jenkins, batting .185 with 10 hits in his last 54 at-bats, were out of the lineup. Manager Ned Yost gave them another day of rest after the off day Thursday. … Travis Hafner, Cleveland’s DH for 63 games, started at first.