CLEVELAND -- Fausto Carmona remained well-grounded and bounced back from his worst start of the season.
Carmona (7-6), getting groundball outs with a sharp sinker and slider, pitched into the seventh inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Tuesday night."Fausto threw the ball very well and got a lot of first-pitch strikes," manager Manny Acta said after the right-hander helped the Indians to their first three-game winning streak since a four-game run June 9-12. Cleveland followed that modest streak by losing 10 of 11 until winning Sunday in Cincinnati.Carmona gave up four runs -- three earned -- and six hits over 6 1/3 innings to improve to 3-0 in five career starts against the Blue Jays. In his previous start Thursday at Philadelphia, he allowed seven runs over four innings."Much better tonight," Carmona said after piling up 12 of his first 15 outs on grounders -- including four bouncers hit right back to him. "I used the sinker, some sliders and had very good defense behind me."Kerry Wood worked the ninth for his third save in three games and eighth in 11 chances overall. The last time the right-hander had three saves in three days was June 1-3, 2008, with the Chicago Cubs."This is something we can all build off of," Wood said. "The starters are giving us a chance to win and the entire bullpen is doing the job. Everybody is on a roll right now.Wood hit Jose Molina in the middle of the back with a curveball to open the inning and then struck out pinch-hitter John Buck and got Fred Lewis to bounce into a game-ending double play."The most deflating thing is to lead for eight innings and lose in one," Acta said. "Wood was big."Brandon Morrow (5-6) struck out eight over six innings and Adam Lind broke out of a 1-for-17 slump with a two-run single for Toronto, which has lost seven of nine."The last two road trips haven't been good," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. "This one has started off bad."Matt LaPorta hit a one-out homer 422 feet into the bleachers in left-center to put Cleveland ahead 5-2 in the sixth. It was LaPorta's second homer of the season and first since he was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday.The Blue Jays scored two giftwrapped runs after Carmona left with one out in the seventh.A wild pitch by reliever Tony Sipp sent one run home. Joe Smith replaced Sipp with runners on first and third and two outs. He got Jose Bautista to lift a fly ball to short right. Shin-Soo Choo called off second baseman Jayson Nix but had the ball go off the heel of his glove for a run-scoring error that got Toronto within 5-4."We had chances to win and needed one more hit but didn't get it," Gaston said. "Close, but no ribbons for it. It was a strange game."The Indians took a 2-0 lead with two unearned runs in the first. Carlos Santana hit a two-out single and went to third on a double by Travis Hafner. Jhonny Peralta then hit a bouncer to third baseman John McDonald, whose low throw skipped past first baseman Lyle Overbay, scoring both runners."I got a good hop," McDonald said. "I wanted to make a good throw, but I left it short. It didn't go where I wanted it to go."Choo singled home a run in the second and Hafner made it 4-0 with an RBI double in the fifth.Cleveland scored four runs with two outs. The Indians have scored 44 percent of their runs, 139 of 316, with two down this season."Two-out runs are big," Hafner said. "It's the same amount of runs, but they seem to take a little more air out of a team whose defense is one out away from getting out of an inning."Lind's two-out, two-run single in the sixth got the Blue Jays within 5-2.Morrow had been 2-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his previous five starts with Molina as his catcher. The combination wasn't as successful against the Indians as the right-hander yielded seven hits and five runs -- three earned.
Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (broken left forearm) took groundballs for the first time since being injured May 17. Acta said the Indians hope Cabrera will return soon after the All-Star break. ... Indians infielder Jason Donald (jammed left wrist) was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game. ... Overbay was 0-for-1 with two walks off Carmona and is hitting .083 (1-of-12) in his career against the right-hander. ... Left fielder Shelley Duncan had three of the Indians' 11 strikeouts. ... Carmona threw two double-play grounders, lifting his season to total to 15, tied with Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero for the AL lead.