Carrasco pitches Indians to shutout win over Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Carlos Carrasco lives about 30 minutes away from Tropicana Field during the offseason and his familiarity with the area might explain his dominant efforts.
Carrasco had a no-hitter for 6 2/3 innings as the Cleveland Indians rolled to a 5-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
The Rays (59-58) managed just three hits and were shut out for the fourth time in the past seven games.
Carrasco (11-5) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning for the third time in his career and second at Tropicana Field.
“For whatever reason, whether it’s the mound, whether it’s the environment, man, he goes out and pitches (well),” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And it was nice to kind of break through and get those runs because neither team had anything. We got him a little cushion and he pitched a heck of a game.”
Carrasco gave up two hits in eight innings and struck out 10 on 106 pitches (73 strikes).
“I think it’s pretty special pitching here,” Carrasco said. “I live here in the offseason so I had a lot of friends and family coming (Friday). Most importantly, we won the game, and that’s what it’s about.”
Logan Morrison broke up the no-hitter with a single to left field.
“I was supposed to throw the curveball down and in and it went away,” Carrasco said. “He put a good swing on it. I’m not disappointed. This is a game where anything can happen. Most important is we won the game.”
The Indians (61-52) sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run fifth to provide all the offense Carrasco would need.
Morrison, Mallex Smith and Trevor Plouffe had the only hits for Tampa Bay.
Rays starter Jake Faria (5-3) was perfect through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
Edwin Encarnacion led off the inning with a solo home run over the 404-foot sign in center to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.
Jay Bruce followed with a single, Carlos Santana walked and Yan Gomes reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Bruce scored on a sacrifice fly by Bradley Zimmer to double the advantage. Giovanny Urshela ripped a single to the left side that bounced off Evan Longoria’s wrist and into left field to score Santana. Austin Jackson added an RBI on a fielder’s choice and Jose Ramirez had a run-scoring double to push the lead to 5-0.
“It was just a string of unfortunate events,” Faria said.” A couple of things could have gone different but it all comes down to execution. I wasn’t executing that entire inning.”
Faria gave up five runs on six hits over six innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
“Jake threw the ball well,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We had a bad inning and that hurt us. There was kind of a unique bunt play that allowed havoc all over the bases and obviously some hard-hit balls. For Jake to go back out and get that extra inning it meant a lot because we didn’t have to blow through the bullpen.”
Carrasco held the Rays without a base runner until he walked Steven Souza Jr. in the bottom of the fifth.
“It’s fair to say Carlos Carrasco enjoys pitching at this ballpark for whatever reason,” Cash said. “This is three years now that it seems like he’s put together pretty dominant performances. He was so efficient and kept attacking the strike zone. From the other side, it was pretty impressive to watch.”
NOTES: Rays 3B Evan Longoria left the game in the fifth inning with a left thumb contusion. X-rays on the thumb were negative. Longoria said he is day-to-day. “I don’t really know a timetable. If I feel good when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll do my best to play.” ... Indians 2B Jason Kipnis will test out his sore hamstring on Saturday, according to manager Terry Francona. If Kipnis cannot play, the team will consider the 10-day DL. ... Rays OF Kevin Kiermaier took batting practice Friday and will play rehab games with Class A Port Charlotte as a designated hitter over the weekend. ... Indians LHP Andrew Miller threw a bullpen session Friday and is expected to throw another Sunday.