|Sabathia goes distance for 11th win, Weaver stops Red Sox|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 25 June 2007 23:25|
Emerging as a top-tier ace, Sabathia became baseball's second 11-game winner by pitching a complete game to lead the Cleveland Indians past the visiting Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Monday night.
The left-hander tied Boston's Josh Beckett for the major league lead in wins, extending an impressive run of pinpoint control. In his past 14 starts, Sabathia (11-2) has walked only 11 batters while striking out 89.
``He's become a true No. 1 pitcher,'' Indians manager Eric Wedge said, ``and one of the best in the game.''
Weaver, on the other hand, is just trying to regain respectability.
A World Series star for St. Louis last season, the right-hander got off to a dismal start in his first year with Seattle. But he won his second consecutive outing Monday, pitching the Mariners to a 9-4 victory over the potent Boston Red Sox at Safeco Field.
Weaver (2-6) allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He has lowered his ERA from 14.32 to 7.71 in four starts since returning from the disabled list.
So is Weaver back to where he wanted to be after he signed an $8,325,000, one-year contract with the Mariners last winter?
``Well, I'll let you know at the end of the season,'' he said, smiling. ``Right now, I'm feeling good.''
In other AL games, it was: Kansas City 5, Los Angeles 3; Texas 8, Detroit 3; Toronto 8, Minnesota 5; and Chicago 5, Tampa Bay 4.
Weaver showed anger and resolve - if not consistent command - while featuring off-speed pitches against the fastball-feasting Red Sox, who own the best record in the major leagues at 48-27. Boston lost a 2-1 lead and a chance to move a season-best 23 games over .500.
Weaver yelled at himself, the plate umpire and his fielders while winning for the second time in less than a week following an 0-6 start.
``That's my competitive nature. It sometimes gets the best of me,'' said Weaver, lauded by the Mariners for maintaining an even temperament throughout his poor start. ``When you are feeling good like you can beat a team and you're not pitching the way you can, it's frustrating.''
Jose Lopez capped a five-run fifth with a two-run single, and Kenji Johjima and Adrian Beltre hit consecutive homers in the seventh for the Mariners.
Seattle won for the fifth time in seven games on its season-high 12-game homestand even though Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 with a walk, ending his 19-game hitting streak.
Julian Tavarez (5-5) lost for the first time in eight starts.
At Cleveland, Sabathia allowed nine hits in his second complete game this month. He struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.
The A's threatened in the ninth, getting runners to second and third before Sabathia, who leads the majors in innings pitched, struck out Mark Kotsay looking on his 111th pitch to end his 14th career complete game.
Sabathia also improved to 2-5 in 12 career starts against the A's, the team he pulled for as a kid growing up in Vallejo, Calif. He had been 0-4 vs. Oakland since last beating the A's on July 30, 2003, a losing streak that a few buddies back home wouldn't let him forget Monday.
``Oh, God, I got so many text messages,'' Sabathia said with a smile. ``And they were all from A's fans saying, 'You're a good pitcher, but the A's are going to beat you.' That's the kind of texts I get from my friends.
``They'll be getting some tonight.''
Ryan Garko hit a two-run double off Chad Gaudin (6-3), and Cleveland's Travis Hafner homered for the first time in nearly a month.
Oakland has lost a season-high four straight, and seven of nine overall.
Following the game, A's outfielder Nick Swisher wrote: ``Team meeting, 5 p.m.'' on the message board in the clubhouse. Oakland has scored just five runs during its losing streak.
Rangers 8, Tigers 3
At Detroit, Marlon Byrd drove in three runs and Texas beat Jeremy Bonderman (8-1) to end his unbeaten streak at 17 starts - one short of Bobo Newsom's 67-year-old team record. Bonderman's previous loss came at Minnesota on Sept. 10.
Kameron Loe (4-6) allowed only two runs in seven innings against the hard-hitting Tigers, his third straight strong outing since giving up nine runs in 2 2-3 innings against Detroit on June 7.
Royals 5, Angels 3
At Anaheim, Calif., John Thomson won his Kansas City debut, outpitching John Lackey (10-5).
Thomson (1-0) allowed three runs in seven innings. He spent the previous 2 1/2 months in Toronto's minor league system before he was released last Wednesday. Octavio Dotel earned his seventh save in nine chances, after blowing his previous two opportunities.
Blue Jays 8, Twins 5
At Minneapolis, Matt Stairs hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth to help Roy Halladay (9-2) win his fifth straight decision. Toronto got consecutive homers from Vernon Wells and Alex Rios in extending its winning streak to a season-high four games.
White Sox 5, Devil Rays 4
At St. Petersburg, Fla., rookie Andy Gonzalez got four hits and drove in two runs to help the struggling White Sox snap a five-game skid. Bobby Jenks saved it for John Danks (4-6).