CLEVELAND — Mitch Talbot pitched a complete game for his first career win and still got creamed — by his Cleveland Indian teammates.
Talbot (1-0) was slathered with a shaving-cream pie in the face after beating the Chicago White Sox 6-2 Friday night.”It’s an awesome feeling,” Talbot said — about the win, not the pie. “I’m stunned, at a loss for words.”The right-hander retired 12 in a row after Paul Konerko snapped an 0-for-12 slump with his fourth homer leading off the second inning.
Acquired in December from Tampa Bay, the 26-year-old gave up six hits and struck out two without walking a batter.”It’s a combination of not swinging the bat well and him pitching good,” Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said.Talbot got 17 groundball outs, including two with a runner on third and Cleveland clinging to a 3-2 lead in the sixth.Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer in a three-run fourth and the Indians scored three unearned runs off Mark Buehrle (2-1) after an error by third baseman Mark Teahen in the sixth in a game that took a brisk 2 hours, 4 minutes.”It hopped up more than I thought it would,” Teahen said of Lou Marson’s grounder that glanced off his glove and scored two runs. “It definitely didn’t help.”Talbot’s outing comes a day after David Huff went the distance in a 3-2 win against Texas, giving Cleveland its first back-to-back complete game victories since Chad Ogea and Charles Nagy did it in September 1996.
Talbot used a four-pitch mix to baffle White Sox hitters, retiring 21 of the last 23 batters he faced.”He had a good sinker and cutter, threw a few sliders and a couple changeups,” pitching coach Tim Belcher said. “He’d like to have one changeup back. That’s the one Konerko hit.”Austin Kearns’ two-out RBI single in the fourth gave Cleveland its first run off Buehrle in 18 1/3 innings, since Aug. 7. Valbuena followed with a two-run homer. He has two homers this season, off All-Stars Buehrle and Justin Verlander of Detroit. The homer off Verlander was a grand slam.”It was a fastball,” Buehrle said. “I was trying to go outside to see if he would chase or I could get a strike out there. It was on the outside corner, but it was up. It was a bad pitch.”Buehrle walked four, allowing six hits and six runs — three earned — over six innings.
On opening day in Chicago, he pitched seven innings in a 6-0 win over Cleveland.”I can’t be walking guys,” Buehrle said. “Two of the leadoff walks came around to score. I can’t be putting guys on base. I get in trouble and they make me pay for it.”Talbot went 62-54 with a 3.79 ERA in 166 career minor league games. He allowed four runs and walked five in five innings of a 4-2 loss at Detroit in his Indians’ debut Saturday.”Mitch had me make an adjustment and it helped,” catcher Marson said. “He asked me to set up on the corners and he pitched to my glove. When you command your fastball on the corners, it doesn’t matter what level it is, you’re going to have success.”Chicago’s second run was unearned. Alexei Ramirez led off the sixth with a single and scored all the way from first when right fielder Shin-Soo Choo misplayed a single by Teahen for an error.