Carrasco throws complete game as Indians win 14th straight
By MATT SCHOCH, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — In a season where the Cleveland Indians hope to get one more win than last year, the team has a chance to take its best stretch of baseball farther than a year ago.
Carlos Carrasco was the latest Indians starter to shine with a complete game dismantling of the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night, and the 5-1 victory was Cleveland’s 14th straight win.
The streak is MLB’s longest this season and the Indians have a chance to set a franchise record with 15 straight on Thursday in Chicago, which would top last season’s run of 14 by the eventual American League champions who lost the World Series in Game 7 to the Chicago Cubs.
The win also was the team’s 10th straight on the road and would have been a shutout if not for Adam Engel’s line drive home run with two outs in the ninth inning.
“I was trying to go deep into the game so I can save the bullpen,” Carrasco said, after the bullpen pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday. “And there’s a lot of energy right now when we play good.”
Carrasco (14-6) allowed three hits, facing 28 batters with 97 pitches in his eighth career complete game. The right-hander said all five of his pitches were working, as he threw 76 strikes.
“He was able to throw all of his pitches for strikes early in the count and then put guys away with sliders,” catcher Roberto Perez said. “He got pretty much ahead of everybody. He was awesome.”
Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run to cap a three-hit night as Cleveland added three runs in the eighth inning to break open a 1-0 game.
After not allowing a hit through four innings, the White Sox had leadoff singles in the fifth and sixth innings off Carrasco, but Avisail Garcia and Kevan Smith were both doubled off on the next at-bat.
Carrasco struck out nine and did not allow a walk. Through his last six starts, Carrasco is 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA.
“I think there’s games, maybe not a ton over the course of a year, where you have everything, where it just falls into place,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “You have a lot of other games where you have some of it, and you’ve got to kind of figure out and maneuver your way through a lineup. Tonight, everything was working for him.”
Rookie right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (0-3) stranded eight runners in six innings, and allowed a run on Tyler Naquin’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.
The Indians have scored first in each of their wins during the streak.
“They’re very, very good, obviously very balanced,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “They’re an excellent major league baseball team, again proving why they’re one of the best teams in baseball.”
Left fielder Nicky Delmonico robbed Francisco Lindor of a home run in the seventh inning.
It atoned for his misplay of a single by Santana that went off Delmonico’s glove on a dive attempt in the fourth inning. Santana later scored on Naquin’s sacrifice fly.
Renteria said Delmonico “tweaked” his left shoulder on the play and later left the game. “I expect he’s OK,” Renteria said.
White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech threw out the ceremonial first pitch in his first trip to Guaranteed Rate Field.
The hard-throwing right-hander, who was acquired from Boston in a December trade for Chris Sale, was accompanied by his girlfriend Brielle Biermann, a star in the Bravo reality series “Don’t Be Tardy.”
Kopech, 21, posted an 8-7 record and 2.87 ERA in 22 starts with Double-A Birmingham before his promotion to Triple-A Charlotte late in the season.
Indians: OF Jay Bruce (sore neck) was held out for the fifth straight game, scratched from the starting lineup an hour before the game. … 2B Jason Kipnis (right hamstring strain) headed back to Cleveland after working out with the team Tuesday in Chicago. He also participated in the team’s fantasy football draft Monday night in Chicago, along with OF Michael Brantley (right ankle sprain), who also returned to Cleveland. … OF Bradley Zimmer (concussion) returned to action as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning. He was pulled out of Saturday’s game with a head injury.
White Sox: 2B Yoan Moncada (bruised right shin) did not start as a precautionary measure. He was 1 for 5 with two strikeouts in his return from the disabled list on Tuesday. … Delmonico (sprained right wrist) was back in the lineup. He had been on the DL since Aug. 25. . SS Tim Anderson was a late scratch because of a cold, Renteria said.
The four-game series concludes Thursday as Cleveland sends RHP Corey Kluber (14-4, 2.56 ERA) against LHP Carlos Rodon (2-5, 4.15).