Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Mourning Sabathia cuffs Chicago

Indians allow four hits in 5-1 win over White Sox; Anaheim throttles Oakland

June 22, 2004


— C.C. Sabathia had more on his mind than just baseball Monday night.

"Right now, I'm pitching with a heavy heart," Sabathia said.

The Cleveland Indians left-hander allowed one run in eight impressive innings in a 5-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox, just hours after attending the funeral of a close cousin.

Sabathia's cousin, Nathan Berhel, died last week. Sabathia also lost his father in December and an uncle during spring training.

"I buried a cousin that is not too far from my age this morning," said Sabathia, who wore his cousin's initials on his cap. "It just felt to go out there and get a win for him and my dad and my uncle. It's just been crazy this year, but I have to keep going. I have to be strong."

Sabathia (5-3) scattered four hits and retired 13 of the last 14 he faced, including the last seven. He struck out four and walked one and lowered his ERA from 2.95 to 2.80 -- second in the AL to Oakland's Tim Hudson (2.78).

"I just tried to pound the strike zone," Sabathia said. "I was throwing everything for strikes today, and I think that helped me out. That lineup is awesome over there, but with the absence of Magglio (Ordonez), I think it is a little easier to face."

Ronnie Belliard and Casey Blake homered in the first inning, and Victor Martinez had a career-high four hits for the Indians, who moved within two games of the White Sox for second place in the AL Central. They also moved to .500 (34-34) for the first time since April 8.

Matt Miller pitched a perfect ninth to complete the four-hitter.

Aaron Rowand hit a solo homer off the left-field foul pole on a 1-2 pitch from Sabathia in the fourth for the White Sox, who have lost five of their last six.

Rowand had three of the four hits against Sabathia, and finished 3-for-4.

The Indians got off to a quick start against Scott Schoeneweis (5-6).

Belliard led off the game with a homer to left on a 3-1 pitch from Schoeneweis for his sixth career leadoff home run. Two outs later, Martinez singled and Blake followed with a two-run homer -- his 11th -- to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.

"That was awesome, especially scoring those runs early in the first inning," Sabathia said. "It gave me the confidence to come out here and shut them down."

Sabathia's night almost ended early when he and plate umpire Tim Timmons exchanged words after the big left-hander didn't get a called strike during Jose Valentin's at-bat in the second inning.

When Sabathia approached the plate, first baseman Lou Merloni restrained him, and manager Eric Wedge quickly came out of the dugout to speak with Timmons.

There were no further incidents.

Sabathia didn't think he said anything that would warrant an ejection.

"All I was telling him is that I didn't say anything to him," Sabathia said. "I wasn't even worried about it."

Angels 10, Athletics 3

Anaheim, Calif. -- Vladimir Guerrero went 4-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs, and David Eckstein hit a two-run double in the Angels' four-run fifth inning.

John Lackey (5-8) allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked none while winning for only the second time in his last eight starts.

Oakland's sixth loss in seven games dropped the A's into a first-place tie in the AL West with the idle Texas Rangers, a full game ahead of Anaheim.

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