Carmona struggles as Tribe loses finale
Right-hander gives up seven runs in first two innings
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right fielder Jason Kubel made sure Fausto Carmona's day at the park was a short one.Kubel homered twice off Carmona in the first two innings to propel Minnesota to an 11-3 win Thursday and a series victory over the Indians. It was a rough start for Carmona from the get-go, as the first four batters he faced in the game all scored. After back-to-back walks to leadoff hitter Denard Span and Joe Mauer, Minnesota first baseman Justin Morneau drove in the first run of the game with a single to left. Kubel then tagged a three-run blast to center for his sixth home run of the season, giving the Twins a 4-0 lead before an out was recorded. Carmona escaped without allowing any more damage in the inning, retiring three of the next four batters he faced. It was déjà vu in the second inning, as Kubel again took Carmona deep for a three-run homer, this time to right-center, putting the Tribe in a 7-0 hole. It was Kubel's fourth career two-home run game. The last time he did so was against Cleveland in April. "Kubel had a big night," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "He had a big night in the first couple of innings. He touched him up pretty good." Carmona (2-6) gave way to reliever Tomo Ohka after just two innings, his second-shortest start of the year. With the seven earned runs given up, Carmona's ERA grew to a Major League-worst 7.42. For much of the two innings Carmona worked Thursday, he fell behind in the count. He walked three batters -- all of which came around to score -- and got behind Kubel, 3-1, before giving up Kubel's second home run. "When he came in, he puts himself in hitters' spots and he works from behind," Wedge said. "It's hard to pitch that way." "My biggest problem right now is that I'm getting behind on the hitters," Carmona said through his translator. "It seems like the balls are running away from me. ... I wasn't trying to overthrow. I was just trying to stay behind the ball." Wedge said there was no immediate talk of sending the struggling Carmona down to the Minors, but he acknowledged that a lot of work needs to be done. "We know what he needs to do," Wedge said. "He knows what he needs to do. But he's just having a hard time doing it. Rest assured, we're going to have to evaluate everything that's gone on to this point with him and work from there. We're going to do what we feel is best for this ball club and what the best thing is for Fausto to get him back on track." Cleveland got a pair of runs back in the sixth off Twins starter Scott Baker (3-6). Jamey Carroll drove in Luis Valbuena, who doubled to lead off the inning. Carroll would later come around to score on a two-out throwing error by Twins shortstop Brendan Harris. But the pair of runs hardly cut into the seven-run deficit left by Carmona. It was the second straight time that Ohka has come on to relieve Carmona after a short outing. Ohka threw five innings in relief and allowed three more Twins runs, all coming on homers in the sixth. "He did a very good job again, just like he did with Fausto's last start," Wedge said. "He had one inning where they touched him up a little bit, but other than that he did a good job." Span lifted his fourth home run of the season over the baggie in right field, and Morneau drove a deep blast into the upper deck in right for a two-run shot two batters later. "They've got some left-handers over there that know how to swing the bat, no doubt about it," Wedge said. Cleveland's third and final run of the game was one of the lone bright spots for the Indians in Thursday's loss. First baseman Chris Gimenez, who made his first career start, turned on a Baker fastball and put it in the left-center field seats for his first career hit. "It's kind of what you dream of when you're a kid for your first hit, and it actually came true," Gimenez said. "It was definitely a blessing and it was a lot of fun. I had a blast." Gimenez also singled up the middle in the ninth for his second hit of the game and second of his career. "He had a real good first day," Wedge said. "We tried to get something out of a tough day."
Tyler Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.