CLEVELAND (AP) -- The only guy C.C. Sabathia didn't fire one past
was his manager.
Sabathia tied a career high with 11 strikeouts over eight
innings and Ryan Garko homered and drove in a career-high five runs
to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 6-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Sabathia (12-11) couldn't convince manager Eric Wedge to let him
try for his seventh complete game and third shutout of the season.
"I was pleading hard," Sabathia said. "As soon as I finished
the eighth I looked at him. We talked a long time. I said, 'See if
anybody gets on,' but he said `No."
Wedge wouldn't budge despite seeing his ace left-hander allow
only four hits without a walk, retiring the last 10 batters he
faced in his final outing of 2006.
"He was lobbying hard and it's not easy taking a guy out, but
he made over 120 pitches," Wedge said. "It was the wise thing to
"C.C. was outstanding. Not completing it takes nothing away
from his performance."
Sabathia lowered his ERA to 3.22, third-best in the AL, and
improved to 4-0 this season and 12-3 in his career against the
White Sox. He also reached double digits in strikeouts for the
third time this season and eighth time in his career.
"I felt this year was the best I've ever pitched," said
Sabathia, who at age 26 has a 81-56 career record.
Chicago starter Javier Vazquez (11-11) struck out 12, surpassing
10 in a game for the fourth time in five September starts. But the
right-hander dropped to 0-5 in eight starts since beating the New York Yankees on Aug. 10. He allowed six runs, six hits and two
walks over seven innings.
Chicago lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
"The effort was good, but the way C.C. pitched it didn't
matter," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He was dominating from the
beginning. The kid is always good against us."
The loss continued a second-half skid by the 2005 World Series
champions, who were eliminated from returning to the playoffs
Monday by a 14-1 drubbing at Jacobs Field.
Casey Blake drove in five runs for Cleveland in that game and
Garko matched him as Cleveland won its fourth straight.
"When I went up the last time, Casey yelled out, 'All you need
is a triple for the cycle,'" said Garko, who was 3-for-4 and drove
in all his runs with two outs. He had a two-run double in the third
inning and three-run homer in the fifth.
"The best kind of RBI are two-out RBI," said Garko, a rookie
who has driven in 32 runs in 34 games since Aug. 18. "I love
hitting in the middle of this lineup."
Franklin Gutierrez doubled high off the wall in left to start
Cleveland's three-run third. Andy Marte walked and one out later,
Jason Michaels beat the throw from third baseman Joe Crede, who had
stopped his sharp grounder with a backhanded dive.
Gutierrez scored on a sacrifice fly by Victor Martinez to short
right. Garko then doubled to left-center.
In the fifth, Michaels walked and Martinez singled to right to
extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Both scored on Garko's
seventh homer, an opposite-field shot into the Chicago bullpen in
Sabathia had a 2.23 ERA in six starts against the White Sox
this year and has a 3.64 mark in 20 career starts against them. ...
The last Cleveland pitcher to beat the White Sox four times in a
season was reliever Jim Kern, who went 5-0 against them in 1976.
... Vazquez has struck out 10 or more 29 times in his career, five
this year. ... White Sox C Sandy Alomar Jr., hit seven foul balls
before finally singling on the 12th pitch of his at-bat in the
fifth. He is 2-for-15 (.133) in his career against Sabathia.