Indians Sweep Three-Game Series with Twins

CLEVELAND (AP) - Fausto Carmona outpitched Johan Santana again, and Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko homered in a three-pitch span off Minnesota's ace in the seventh inning, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 2-0 win over the Twins on Thursday.

Carmona (5-1) allowed four hits for his first career shutout and complete game, a 121-pitch performance that beat Santana (4-4) for the second time in less than a month.

The Indians swept the three-game series and improved to 5-0 this season against one of their AL Central rivals.

Carmona, bumped from Cleveland's rotation earlier this season, is 5-0 in his last five starts and hasn't given up a run in 15 straight innings, a remarkable turnaround for the right-hander who was optioned to the minors but brought back when Jake Westbrook went on the disabled list.

The Twins have lost seven of eight.

Santana blanked the Indians for the first six innings before Martinez touched him for his fifth homer. Cleveland's catcher turned on a 2-0 pitch, driving it over the left-field wall for his third career homer off Santana.

Two pitches later, Garko also connected for his fifth homer, giving Cleveland back-to-back homers for the first time this season and handing Carmona all the runs he would need.

On April 24, Carmona snapped a personal 11-game losing streak by defeating Santana, the two-time Cy Young Award winner. The 23-year-old Carmona won his next start five days later, but he became the odd-man out in Cleveland's rotation when Cliff Lee came off the disabled list.

Only Westbrook's injury rescued him from pitching at Triple-A Buffalo, and his ascension as a dependable starter could eventually lead to the Indians making a move with struggling left-hander Jeremy Sowers, who'll take an 0-3 record into a start Saturday against Cincinnati.

Santana allowed two runs and just four hits in seven innings, the 100th straight start in which he has pitched at least five innings. He walked one and struck out a season-high 11. Notes: Santana's 100-start streak of going at least five innings is the fourth longest such run in the past 50 years. Only Curt Schilling (147), David Cone (145) and Bob Gibson (112) have been more consistent. ... The Indians begin interleague play on Friday when they open a three-game series with the Reds. Cleveland was 8-10 vs. NL teams last season. ... Indians 3B Casey Blake has hit safely in nine straight games. ... The Indians are a 14-3 at home, with three of those wins coming at Miller Park in Milwaukee.