Carmona Returns To Help Sweep Twins; Indians 6, Twins 3
By Mike Brandyberry
Fausto Carmona, like most of the season, did not have his best stuff, but he did battle for six gritty innings, and more timely hitting gave the Indians a 6-3 victory in game two of the doubleheader. The victory gave the Tribe a sweep of the twin bill.
Carmona gave up a base hit to Alexi Casilla in the bottom of the third inning. Austin Kearns had to fall to his knees to keep the ball in front of him. Once Kearns made a sloppy throw to the cutoff man, Casilla turned his sure single into a hustle double. Joe Mauer followed with a base hit to score Casilla and give the Twins an early 1-0 lead. Carmona struggled through the inning, but otherwise, left it unscathed.
Carmona was behind in the count most of the evening, receiving numerous trips to the mound from Lou Marson, Asdrubal Cabrera and pitching coach Tim Belcher. He lacked in command much of the evening and only worked a three up, three down inning in the fifth. Carmona seemed to be in jeopardy of allowing a big inning in the third before getting Delmon Young and Danny Valencia to ground out to end the inning. He also benefited from a defensive gem by Jack Hannahan.
The Indians took the lead in the fifth inning when, with two outs, Lou Marson doubled, Ezequiel Carrera walked to set up RBI base hits by Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera, giving the Tribe a 2-1 lead. The lead was short lived though because Valencia hit a solo home run in the sixth to tie the game at two. Six innings and seven hits was enough for Carmona, who threw 89 pitches in his first start back from the disabled list, but only threw 55 strikes. Carmona may have been as lucky, as he was good, on this evening.
However, Lou Marson would hit a 420-foot home run to dead center field to give the Indians the lead again. Carrera reached on an error and later scored on Travis Hafner’s base hit to right center field and the Indians had the lead and Carmona his fifth victory of the year. Rafael Perez worked a scoreless inning and a third and Joe Smith finished the eighth. Hafner and Carlos Santana drove in insurance runs in the ninth and Chris Perez completed the game for the team’s first doubleheader sweep in Minnesota since 1961. Perez allowed a solo home run to Trevor Plouffe in the ninth.
By taking both games of the doubleheader, the Tribe has a full game lead over Detroit in the standings and a rather rested bullpen. No relief pitcher was forced to be overworked on Monday. Tuesday the Indians will send Justin Masterson (8-6, 2.80) to the mound to match up against Francisco Liriano (6-7, 4.76) at 8:10 pm ET.