Carrasco goes the distance as Tribe salvages road finale
Carlos Carrasco said he didn’t feel confident in his command. The results said otherwise.
“For the first three innings, I didn’t find myself,” Carrasco said.
Carrasco struck out 14 while pitching his second complete game of the season as the Cleveland Indians beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 on Wednesday.
Carrasco fanned the side in the third inning. After a conversation between innings with catcher Roberto Perez and pitching coach Carl Willis, Carrasco got into a groove and struck out the side again in the fourth.
“When I went out for the fourth, we got everything working,” Carrasco said. “Every pitch was working. When you have fastball command and can throw your breaking ball for a strike, guys are going to swing at it.”
Carrasco (5-1) gave up five hits, walked one and threw 117 pitches. It was his 10th complete game in 149 big league starts.
“Early on, he looked a little sluggish, but he pitched his way into feeling good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “As he got into the flow of the game, not only did he find his breaking ball, but he got some more power to his fastball.”
After surrendering a combined 10 earned runs in his previous two outings, Carrasco was in total control and came within one of his career strikeout high. He also drove in a run, the first of his career, with a ninth-inning single.
“He got his slider going,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was sharp. Rarely in a bad spot. He was excellent.”
Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor homered to power Cleveland.
The Indians broke through against Junior Guerra (2-3) with four runs in the fourth, capped by Naquin’s three-run homer into the second deck in right field. Jose Ramirez led off the inning with a double and scored on Michael Brantley’s single.
Guerra fanned nine in five innings.
“He kind of hung a split with guys on base,” Counsell said of the pitch to Naquin. “It was just one bad pitch that cost him.”
Brewers closer Corey Knebel gave up Lindor’s leadoff home run in the seventh. Knebel, who had been on the disabled list since April 5 with a hamstring injury, was activated before the game.
The Brewers scored in the seventh on Travis Shaw’s RBI groundout. They added another run on Jesus Aguilar’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.
The Indians sent infielder Gio Urshela to Toronto for a player to be named or cash. The 26-year-old Urshela hadn’t played in the majors this season because of a hamstring injury. He was designated for assignment last week. Urshela played in 67 games for Cleveland last year, hitting .224 with 15 RBIs. He hit .324 in 11 games this year at Triple-A Columbus.
Indians: After a day off on Thursday, Trevor Bauer (2-3, 2.53 ERA) gets the start at home in the opener of a three-game set against Kansas City. Bauer is 2-4 in 12 career starts against the Royals.