Indians extend win streak to 14 behind Carrasco 3-hitter
CHICAGO — Carlos Carrasco delivered a three-hitter as the Cleveland Indians claimed a landmark victory on Wednesday night.
The Indians tied a franchise record with their 14th consecutive victory, beating the Chicago White Sox 5-1 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Carrasco came within one out of a memorable shutout performance before giving up a two-out, ninth-inning home run to Adam Engel.
However, Carrasco hardly disappointed with the body of work.
“Everything was good today ... fastball, curve, slider,” he said. “But as I said before, I think it was more important that we won the game.”
Carrasco (14-6) struck out nine, walked none and threw 97 pitches.
Indians catcher Roberto Perez was disappointed that the shutout slipped away.
“I wanted to call a shutout,” he said, “but (Carrasco) was awesome tonight. They got two (early) base hits, but right after those two base hits, we got a double play. He made pitches when we needed to, and we got out of trouble.”
Cleveland (83-56) improved to a season-high 27 games above .500 and remained 11 games ahead of the second-place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central.
“This shows what kind of team we are and how we’re playing baseball,” Perez said. “We’re having fun out there and competing. It’s fun when guys grind out at-bats, try to get on base and take advantage of the opportunities.”
Chicago (54-84) dropped its third straight.
Tyler Naquin’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly brought home Carlos Santana. In the eighth, Santana padded the lead with a two-run homer, his 23rd long ball of the season.
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez (0-3) worked six innings, allowing one run, six hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
“He did a great job today. The numbers looked good, they could have been even better,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “As well as Lopey threw well, the game just didn’t look clean, and our guys know it.”
The Indians collected eight hits, three from Santana, who also walked.
With Cleveland up 1-0, Francisco Lindor’s bid to double the lead was denied in the seventh. A potential home run was grabbed over the top of the left field fence by Nicky Delmonico.
Santana greeted reliever Danny Farquhar with a towering two-run homer to right with no outs in the eighth inning, driving in Edwin Encarnacion a 3-0 lead.
Farquhar went on to load the bases — still with no outs — for Perez, who reached based on an error while grounding into a fielder’s choice. Greg Allen scored from third for a 4-0 lead.
Farquhar departed for right-hander Dylan Covey, who gave up a final run as Allen grounded into a ninth-inning fielder’s choice to score Jose Ramirez.
Cleveland came up short on two early scoring opportunities.
The Indians had Lonnie Chisenhall at third with one out in the first but couldn’t bring him home.
In the second, Naquin doubled up the middle with one out, moving Yandy Diaz to third. But Perez struck out looking and Lindor popped out along the third base line.
Santana led off the Indians’ fourth with a single to center, reached second on a Diaz base hit and moved to third on a wild pitch — all with no outs. This time, the Indians produced a run as Naquin’s sacrifice to left brought Santana home for a 1-0 lead.
Carrasco, meanwhile, kept the White Sox off the bases, retiring the first 12 batters he faced and striking out the side in the fourth.
Carrasco gave up a base hit up the middle to Avisail Garcia to open the fifth, but Garcia was snuffed out on a subsequent double-play grounder by Delmonico.
“There are games — not a ton — over the course of a year when everything falls into place,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Tonight, everything was working for (Carrasco).”
Cleveland set a team record for consecutive victories in 2016, winning 14 straight between June 17 and July 1.
NOTES: The Indians are an major-league-best 35-11 since July 21 and 10-0 on their road trip that ends Thursday in Chicago. ... Cleveland will open a 10-game homestead on Friday, starting with a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. ... The Indians send RHP Corey Kluber (14-4, 2.56 ERA) against White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (2-5, 4.15) on Thursday in the teams’ final meeting of the season. ... RHP Michael Kopech, among top prospects in the White Sox organization, visited Guaranteed Rate Field. “I brought my glove if they need me,” he said. ... Before the game, the White Sox reinstated INF/OF Nicky Delmonico (sprained right wrist) from the 10-day disabled list.