Carlos Carrasco allowed just four hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings to pick up his 13th victory of the season as the Cleveland Indians blanked the Minnesota Twins 2-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Jose Ramirez had two hits for Cleveland, which won its second game in a row and improved to 32-15 against American League Central opponents. Brad Hand pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing only a bunt single to Jorge Polanco, to earn 26th save of the season.
Carrasco (13-5), who entered the contest with an 0-2 record and 7.50 ERA in three starts against Minnesota this season, struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter and departed after throwing 101 pitches, 72 of which were strikes. He moved into a tie with CC Sabathia, Sam McDowell and Sonny Siebert for second most games in Indians history with 10-plus strikeouts and no walks with three — behind Corey Kluber (10).
Carrasco also improved to 5-0 in six appearances (five starts) since returning from the disabled list on July 6 after three weeks with a right elbow contusion after being struck by a line drive by Joe Mauer in a June 16 game at Progressive Field. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, including six by strikeout, before Polanco grounded a single to right.
The Indians, who scored a major league-high 153 runs in July while also batting an MLB-best .284, took a 1-0 lead in the sixth off reliever Matt Magill (2-2) thanks to some effective base running.
Rajai Davis lined a one-out single off the tip of the glove of Polanco into left and then went to third on a single to right by Ramirez. The Indians then attempted a double steal with catcher Mitch Garver electing to throw down to second to get Ramirez. Second baseman Ehire Adrianza then spun around and threw home but Davis beat the throw and was credited with scoring on a fielder’s choice.
The Twins didn’t get a runner into scoring position until Mauer’s two-out triple to right in the sixth. But Carrasco bounced back to strike out Eddie Rosario to end the scoring threat.
Cleveland, aided by a key error by Polanco, who mishandled a throw to second from Miguel Sano on a Yonder Alonso grounder that likely would have been a double play, added an insurance run in the ninth off Fernando Rodney. Yan Gomes followed the miscue with an RBI single to center to drive in Leonys Martin, who had opened the inning with a single.
Adalberto Mejia, making his third start of the season, blanked the Indians on one hit and three walks over the first five innings but left after throwing 74 pitches. Mejia was on a pitch count after throwing 39 pitches and three shutout innings in relief on Sunday afternoon in a 3-0 loss at Boston.
—Field Level Media