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Indians 7, White Sox 2

Carmona, Indians swat away White Sox

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Tom Withers
Associated Press / April 3, 2008

CLEVELAND - Fausto Carmona went from bug bites to goosebumps.

On the same mound where he fought off swarming insects during last season's AL playoffs, Carmona pitched seven strong innings in his season debut and Grady Sizemore had three RBIs to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 7-2 win over Chicago last night.

With his sinker dipping and dancing away from Chicago's hitters, Carmona allowed one run and four singles. He got 16 of his 21 outs on grounders, struck out four, and kept Jim Thome in the park, something C.C. Sabathia couldn't do in the opener when Chicago's DH homered twice.

It was Carmona's first start in Cleveland since Oct. 5, when Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees became a permanent part of baseball lore as tiny, flying critters known as midges swarmed the playing field.

Carmona's sinker was puzzling for the White Sox, who continually pounded his pitches into the dirt ground. "He kept all his pitches down in the zone," said Nick Swisher, who went 0 for 3 and struck out once against Carmona. "When a guy like that is throwing 94 miles an hour and his pitches are moving like 2 feet, that's tough."

Thome grounded into two of Chicago's three double plays and flied to right - the only fair ball hit into the air against Carmona.

From his center-field vantage point, Sizemore could tell Carmona's sinker was special.

"It's pretty good," he said. "Sometimes you think it's a changeup, and you look up [at the scoreboard] and it's 93 miles per hour. He was tough."

Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits and two RBIs for Cleveland, which made the most of four walks by White Sox starter Javier Vazquez (0-1).

The Indians are 2-0 for the second straight year. It's the first time they've opened consecutive seasons with two wins since 1954-55.

A.J. Pierzynski homered in the ninth for the White Sox.

Carmona was replaced in the eighth by Masa Kobayashi, who faced just three batters in his major league debut before being pulled. Rafael Perez came in, struck out Thome, walked Paul Konerko to load the bases, and then fanned Jermaine Dye.

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