CLEVELAND – The only walking C.C. Sabathia did was to the dugout after each scoreless inning.
Cleveland’s ace left-hander pitched his fifth career shutout and the Indians kept rolling at home, defeating the Kansas City Royals 1-0 Tuesday night.
“Us winning means more to me than me winning. It really does,” said Sabathia (9-1), who struck out eight and walked none in joining John Lackey of the Los Angeles Angels as the majors’ only nine-game winners.
Sabathia allowed five singles but said he wasn’t worried about trying to hold a one-run lead in the late innings. His focus was on the big picture: getting Cleveland back to postseason play for the first time since he was a rookie in 2001.
“I know I need to be ‘The Guy’ if we’re going to the playoffs,” he said. “In a game like this, I don’t think about making a mistake. I think about continuing what’s going right.”
Sabathia improved to 4-0 in five starts since May 16. The Indians increased baseball’s best home record to 20-6. Sabathia is 6-0 in eight starts at Jacobs Field.
“He threw 111 pitches and only a half-dozen were in the middle of the plate,” the Royals’ Mike Sweeney said. “The rest were on the corners. He showed tonight he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball.”
Cleveland improved to 16-6 in the AL Central.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Pedro Martinez threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since rotator cuff surgery in the fall, one of the major steps toward his goal of rejoining the New York Mets’ starting rotation by August.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner threw 31 pitches after warming up with seven throws. Before that, he threw on flat ground from 120 feet at the Mets’ spring training complex.
“I was very pleased with the way that it went,” Martinez said.