The big right-hander pitched six strong innings and the Indians continued their late-season surge with a 7-5 victory over the stumbling Rangers on Friday night.
Carmona (6-5) allowed one run and six hits, struck out five and walked three as the Indians won for the 11th time in 14 games.
His previous start against the Rangers was on May 23, a 13-9 loss at Cleveland. Carmona lasted a season-low two innings in that game, allowing six runs and five hits before leaving with a hip strain that landed him on the disabled list the following day.
"I never thought about [the start in May]," Carmona said through an interpreter. "I tried to think about this start today and making sure to give the team a chance to win."
Carmona's recovery took more than two months before he returned to the rotation on July 26. He lost three of four decisions entering Friday.
"After the first two games [back], I felt everything would be OK," Carmona said.
Lewis' biggest challenge was facing major league RBI leader Josh Hamilton with one out and a runner on first. Lewis got Hamilton on a called third strike, fanned pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto swinging, and retired Hank Blalock on a line drive.
"That's not exactly the guy [Hamilton] you want to face as the tying run," Lewis said. "We threw him all fastballs, changing them up between two- and four-seamers. We wanted to keep his eye moving. We didn't want him to extend his hands on the 3-2 pitch. If I was going to miss, I would miss in. We didn't want to give him a chance to hit it out of the park."
"It was big for us to tack on runs there," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "In this park, a one-run lead is not enough. It's never over until the last out is made."
Guardado, the Rangers' closer, hadn't pitched in five days. A leadoff walk to Asdrubal Cabrera opened the door for the Indians in the ninth.
"What happened was he got ahead of Cabrera with two strikes, then Cabrera made him throw a ton of pitches," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They did a good job of working him, fouling off pitches. I just thought they hit some good pitches. He's only human."
Harrison had been much better in his previous start last Saturday, giving up three hits in eight innings of a 3-0 victory over Tampa Bay.
"Tonight I was leaving the ball up," Harrison said. "I didn't make the adjustment until the third inning and by then I'd given up five runs. I need to start out by keeping the ball down. I just want to be consistent. You don't want one bad, one good. It's very disappointing."
LHP C.J. Wilson was back in the Rangers' clubhouse to begin a 6-to-12 week rehab after undergoing season-ending surgery to remove bone chips in his left elbow. ... Rangers RHP Brandon McCarthy will be activated from the 60-day DL for his first big league start of the season Saturday. McCarthy hasn't appeared in a major league game since Sept. 20, 2007. He's been out since March 30 with right forearm inflammation. ... Cleveland C Victor Martinez and 2B Josh Barfield are on minor league rehab assignments, and DH Travis Hafner is likely to begin one soon. All three are expected to be activated in the next few weeks. ... The Rangers activated Blalock from the 15-day DL before the game, with the former All-Star 3B making his major league debut at 1B. Blalock, who went 0-for-4, had been out since July 29 because of inflammation in his right shoulder.