Fantastic Fausto reaches 10 wins
Casey Blake added a three-run homer as the Tribe beat Toronto 9-4.
TORONTO (AP) — Cleveland right-hander Fausto Carmona says his focus these days is slowing down his routine on the mound. As a result, the wins seem to be piling up much more quickly.
Casey Blake hit a three-run homer, Carmona won consecutive starts for the first time in almost two months and the Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 on Saturday.
Carmona (10-4) allowed three runs and eight hits over 51⁄3 innings, walking three and striking out five. He won back-to-back starts for the first time since May 12 and 17.
“It seems like everything is slowing down,” Carmona said through a translator. “I’ll walk around the mound and make sure I throw the right pitch. I’m not rushing on the mound. I’m putting thought before my actions.”
Carmona went 1-10 in 38 games with Cleveland in 2006, losing his last 10 decisions, and came to spring training this season just hoping stick with the big league team. The 23-year-old native of the Dominican Republic said learning to take his time while pitching has paid off.
Along with left-hander C.C. Sabathia (12-3), Carmona gives the Indians two 10-win starters before the All-Star break for the first time since 1956, when Bob Lemon and Early Wynn both had 10 wins.
“I’m happy for Fausto,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s really picked us up.”
Blake said the reactions from opposing batters tell him all he needs to know about Carmona’s turnaround.
“I’m pretty impressed, but I’m not surprised,” Blake said. “After people face him, they just say, ‘Man, this guy is one of the best we’ve seen.’ ”
Blake’s homer, his second in as many days, was one of four by the Indians, who also got solo shots from Victor Martinez, Grady Sizemore and Trot Nixon.
“Between last year and this year, one thing is he’s become much more comfortable with his hitting in runners in scoring position, not trying to do too much,” Wedge said of Blake. “He really figured it out last year and he’s taken it into this year. He’s a fantastic all-around ball player.”
Toronto starter Shaun Marcum (4-3) lost for the first time in 11 starts since joining the rotation May 13. Marcum allowed eight runs and nine hits over 31⁄3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.
“It’s tough to go out there every single day and do your job,” Marcum said. “I guess all things come to an end at some point.”
After Travis Hafner’s RBI double in the first, Cleveland scored five more in the second. Josh Barfield had an RBI single, Blake hit a three-run homer and Martinez followed with a solo blast.
It’s the fifth time this season the Indians have hit back-to-back home runs.
Martinez left the game in the bottom of the fifth with a bruised left knee and is listed as day to day. Martinez, who is on a 12-game hitting streak, was replaced by Kelly Shoppach.
“It’s a little sore but it’s nothing to worry about,” Martinez said. “I think I’ll be able to play [today].”ski closed it out in the ninth.