- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 26, 2009

CLEVELAND (AP) | Kerry Wood didn’t know the name of the song that was blaring over the sound system in the Cleveland Indians’ clubhouse.

Then again, it didn’t really matter. For the first time in nearly two weeks, the Indians had something to smile about.

Fausto Carmona pitched six strong innings and Cleveland ended its 11-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

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“It’s nice to walk in here and hear music instead of crickets,” said Wood, nodding to the clubhouse stereo after he pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save. “I don’t even know who’s playing. It could be in German for all I care.”

The Orioles have lost eight consecutive games and center fielder Felix Pie went down in the seventh inning with a strained left quad. Pie fell to the ground in pain when he crossed first base after he hit into a double play. He couldn’t put any weight on his leg as he was helped off the field.

Manager Dave Trembley said Pie is day-to-day. Baltimore’s skid is its longest since it dropped 10 in a row Sept. 17-26, 2008.

“We didn’t get the hit when we needed to,” said Trembley, whose team stranded 10 runners. “We needed some two-out hits. That didn’t happen.”

The Indians improved to 4-19 in September and avoided tying the franchise record of 12 straight losses set in 1931. Luis Valbuena homered, rookie catcher Lou Marson drove in two runs and Carmona (4-12) won for the first time since Aug. 23.

Wood, in his 11th big league season, admitted it’s been difficult lately.

“The last few days we’ve played better,” he said. “Guys are still coming to work every day. We’ve got a job to do. It’s easy to get down, especially when you’ve lost 11 in a row, but guys still put the uniform on every day and got ready.”

Carmona allowed two runs and nine hits, struck out six and walked one.

“That was as good as we’ve seen him this year,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

After winning 19 games in 2007, Carmona has been a mystery. He slumped to 8-7 last season and struggled so badly this year that the Indians sent him down to rookie ball in June.

“He established himself in the first inning,” Wedge said. “He pitched out of trouble a couple of times. We wanted to get him out of there on a positive note.”

Michael Aubrey hit an RBI single in the second and Nick Markakis homered in the sixth for Baltimore.

Valbuena’s leadoff drive keyed a three-run fifth against rookie right-hander David Hernandez (4-9). Marson had an RBI double and a throwing error by third baseman Melvin Mora allowed the final run to score.

Marson also drew a bases-loaded walk in the eighth off Matt Albers.

“We gave them a couple of runs,” Trembley said. “That was unfortunate.”

Baltimore has lost nine straight games started by Hernandez, who is 0-5 in the stretch and hasn’t won since Aug. 11.

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