06/16/07 9:50 PM ET
Carmona aiming to salvage finale
Atlanta (37-32) at Cleveland (39-28), Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
It isn't like the Indians to get swept at home. But when Carmona takes the mound for Sunday's series finale against the Braves, the Tribe will be looking to avoid doing so for the first time this season.
Bringing back painful memories of the ill-fated 1995 World Series, the Braves have successfully tamed what had been a hot home club at Jacobs Field. Atlanta's wins on Friday and Saturday have ensured the Indians will drop a series at home for just the second time this season.
But Carmona's presence on the mound has generally been a positive one for the Indians, and he gives them reason to believe they can wrap up this series on a strong note.
Even in defeat on Wednesday at Dolphin Stadium, Carmona was relatively sharp, holding the Marlins to three runs on five hits with no walks and a career-high six strikeouts over seven innings.
CLE: RHP Fausto Carmona (7-2, 3.17 ERA)
Carmona breezed through six innings against the Marlins, allowing only a pair of infield hits while striking out six. But he ran into trouble in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs and then surrendering a three-run double to Miguel Olivo that was the deciding hit in a 3-0 Cleveland loss. Still, Carmona has allowed three runs or fewer in all but two appearances this season, and the Indians are 8-2 the last 10 times he's taken the mound for them.
ATL: RHP Kyle Davies (3-5, 5.70 ERA)
Davies retired 10 straight batters before surrendering five runs in the fourth inning against the Twins on Tuesday night. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings, marking the third time in his past six starts that he has not completed at least five innings. It has been a roller-coaster season for the 23 year-old right-hander, who has mixed flashes of brilliance with reminders that he is still a young pitcher. He's won twice in his past five starts and in both of those outings, he's lasted at least seven innings and surrendered just one run.
Player to watch
Trot Nixon broke out of an 0-for-20 funk at the plate with a base hit in Saturday's game. His bat had been one of the more consistently productive ones in the Indians' lineup until the last few weeks. The Indians need to get him back on track to shore up the lower half of their lineup.
Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.
Monday: Phillies (Cole Hamels, 9-2, 3.47) at Indians (Cliff Lee, 3-4, 6.04), 7:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Phillies (Kyle Kendrick, 0-0, 4.50) at Indians (Jason Stanford, 1-0, 1.50), 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Phillies (TBD) at Indians (C.C. Sabathia, 9-2, 3.19), 7:05 p.m. ET
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.