The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas — C.C. Sabathia became the first
13-game winner in the major leagues despite another shaky start, getting help from Grady Sizemore’s long tiebreaking home run in Cleveland’s 7-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night.
Sabathia (13-4), who allowed 13 runs in 11 innings while losing his two previous July starts, squandered a 4-0 lead against the Rangers before Sizemore led off the fifth with a 419-foot homer to right-center field that put Cleveland ahead 5-4.
Two days before his 27th birthday, Sabathia allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings with two strikeouts and a walk. The three-time All-Star left-hander had a throwing error that led to an unearned run.
Joe Borowski gave up Mark Teixeira’s RBI single in the ninth before picking up his 27th save in 30 chances.
Kameron Loe (5-8) allowed six runs and six hits over six innings. He lost his second straight start since a career-best four-game winning streak.
After Sizemore hit his 16th homer, Casey Blake got a triple when his sinking liner got past diving left fielder Brad Wilkerson. Blake came home on a strange 4-6-3 RBI groundout by Ryan Garko that initially appeared to be an inning-ending double play.
Ramon Vazquez, playing shortstop with Michael Young away to attend a family funeral, was to the side of the base when he caught the relay from Jerry Hairston and made the throw to get Garko out at first. The runner at second was safe, allowing Blake to score.
An inning before his homer, Sizemore made a nice recovery in center field to catch Travis Metcalf’s wind-blown flyball against the wall. The Rangers had the bases loaded when Sizemore took a step in, then had to race back to make the catch. Only one run scored, and Kenny Lofton followed by grounding into a double play.
The Indians loaded the bases in the second before Trot Nixon’s two-run double. Ben Francisco had a sacrifice fly before Sizemore’s two-out RBI single made it 4-0.
Texas got three runs back in the bottom of the second — all after two outs. Wilkerson had a double before Gerald Laird’s two-run homer, his sixth of the season. Vazquez hit the next pitch into the right-center gap for a double and came home on Metcalf’s bunt single when Sabathia threw the ball wide of first base.
Wilkerson had a leadoff walk in the fourth before consecutive bunt singles by Laird and Vazquez, who beat out the throw on an attempted sacrifice bunt. Vazquez finished 3-for-4.
Lofton, the 40-year-old center fielder, made a running over-the-shoulder basket catch near the wall on Jhonny Peralta’s flyball to end the seventh. ... Garko extended a 13-game hitting streak with a leadoff ground-rule double in the eighth. He scored when Francisco singled. ... C Laird leads the AL with nine bunt singles. ... The last batter Sabathia faced was No. 9 hitter Metcalf, who flew out to end a 13-pitch at-bat with two men on for the final out in the sixth.
WHO: Cleveland at Texas
WHERE: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
PITCHERS: Carmona (11-4, 3.77 ERA) vs. McCarthy (4-6, 5.59)
TV/RADIO: SportsTime Ohio; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM