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CWS@CLE: Santana blasts a two-run shot in the seventh

CLEVELAND -- With a 162-game schedule, the first contest in a Major League season doesn't always foretell what's to come for the next six months.

The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox discovered Friday that the first four innings of a game don't always predict what's to come during the final five frames.

After spotting Chicago a 14-0 lead, the Indians fought back with an offensive onslaught potent enough to close the final gap to 15-10 before a sellout crowd of 41,721 on Opening Day at Progressive Field.

Seventy-one years after Indians Hall of Famer Bob Feller hurled the only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League history, Fausto Carmona (0-1, 30.00 ERA) allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in his first career Opening Day start.

Carmona, who maintained his composure amid swarms of pesky midges in the 2007 American League Division Series, didn't use his Opening Day jitters as an excuse. Manager Manny Acta wouldn't let him, either.

"It's too early to make excuses. Fausto was able to pitch against the Yankees with bugs in his face," Acta said. "I mean, he just couldn't get the ball down. It's a lot easier to say than do, but that's the bottom line. He couldn't get the ball down and put guys away and they hit him around. I'm not going to blame it on Opening Day."

Feller stifled the Chicago White Sox, 1-0, on April 16, 1940. Carmona couldn't escape the fourth inning against the South Siders, struggling to keep his heavy sinker below the opposition's comfort zones.

"I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes," said Carmona, who threw 59 of his 88 pitches in the zone. "They were swinging."

Chicago tagged Carmona and reliever Justin Germano for eight runs in the fourth as the White Sox surged to a 14-0 lead. Designated hitter Adam Dunn and right fielder Carlos Quentin -- who drove in five runs with three hits -- both clubbed two-run home runs in the inning.

That's when the dormant Tribe offense woke up.

Mark Buehrle (1-0, 6.00), who allowed just a pair of singles through the first five innings, ran into trouble in the sixth.

Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan, who went 3-for-5, served as the Tribe's spark plug. He singled and scored on another single by catcher Carlos Santana. Designated hitter Travis Hafner then lined a pitch over the head of center fielder Alex Rios to score Asdrubal Cabrera. A two-run single by Orlando Cabrera capped the Indians' four-run sixth inning.

Hannahan fueled another rally in the seventh inning, greeting reliever Will Ohman with a home run to right-center field on the southpaw's second pitch. Four batters later, Santana hit one over the left-field wall to cut the lead to 14-7. The soaring baseball appeared to make contact with the mitt of a fan leaning over the wall, but the umpires upheld the home run call after checking instant replay.

Nevertheless, Santana said after the game that he didn't think it was a home run and that he got lucky.

After Chicago tacked on a run in the top of the eighth, center fielder Michael Brantley plated first baseman Matt LaPorta and Hannahan with a two-run double in the bottom of the frame to trim the Tribe's deficit to 15-9.

"I couldn't believe those guys," said Dunn, who drove in four runs. "That's the hardest part to do when you are up big or down big, is to come out and stay focused on your at-bats. Those dudes, man, they can swing the bat."

Acta enjoyed what he saw at the plate from Hannahan, who needed most of Spring Training and an injury to Jason Donald to earn the starting spot at the hot corner.

"All we're asking this guy is to play the defense that he's capable of playing," Acta said. "We didn't bring him over here to carry this lineup or anything like that, but it'll help if he has quality at-bats like he did throughout the whole game."

Still, Chicago's lead was too much for the Tribe to surmount.

"Unfortunately, we had one bad inning there," Hannahan said. "But you can never really count this team out. We came back and we put some good at-bats together and got some big, two-out hits. That's what you have to do to win games."

Cleveland's bullpen allowed the team to make the score more respectable. Germano tossed a pair of scoreless frames following the fourth-inning debacle. Frank Herrmann allowed one run and struck out five batters in two innings of work. Vinnie Pestano allowed one hit but struck out three in the ninth.

"It was good to see Frank Herrmann and Pestano do the type of job that they did, especially Frank, throwing multiple innings," Acta said. "That's something that we're happy about with our bullpen. Unfortunately, we had to play catch-up baseball and that was a big lead they had on the board."

Acta was pleased with his team's ability to claw its way back.

"We made it a ballgame at the end and continued to swing the bat," Acta said. "That's what we can promise you here. I can't promise a win every single day, but I can promise a bunch of guys that are going to go out there, never give up and play hard." Comments