ARLINGTON (AP) — Fausto Carmona allowed three hits over eight shutout innings and the Cleveland Indians survived a shaky ninth for a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Carmona (12-4) struck out seven, walked three and had 14 groundball outs to win his fourth straight start. The right-hander threw 105 pitches.
Joe Borowski gave up two runs and two singles and the Indians committed two errors in the ninth but he earned his 28th save in 31 chances.
Ramon Vazquez had the only extra-base hit for the Rangers, a third-inning double.
Travis Hafner homered and Victor Martinez had three doubles to help the Indians pull within one game of the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers, who were beaten 10-2 by the Kansas City Royals.
The Indians turned three double plays in support of Carmona, who hasn’t lost since June 27.
Texas center fielder Kenny Lofton left the game in the third inning after fouling a ball off his right big toe.
The 40-year-old was hobbling as he was helped off the field grimacing in pain, but X-rays were negative and the Rangers said he is day-to-day.
Desi Relaford entered the game for Lofton, who left with an 0-2 count and runners on first and second. Relaford grounded into a double play, with Vazquez moving to third, and Carmona got out of the inning by retiring Jerry Hairston on a groundout to keep the game scoreless.
Cleveland’s adventurous ninth started when Relaford reached on first baseman Ryan Garko’s fielding error with one out. Relaford went to second on Adam Melhuse’s pinch-hit single and scored on Mark Teixeira’s single to break up the shutout.
Marlon Byrd hit into a forceout at third and Teixeira scored when Gerald Laird’s routine grounder bounced out of shortstop Mike Rouse’s glove to make it 3-2. Borowski struck out Brad Wilkerson with the bases loaded to end it.