Carrasco strikes out 11, Indians roll past Twins 8-1
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Carrasco dusted himself off, climbed back on the mound and smiled after dealing with another scary moment against the Minnesota Twins.
Carrasco struck out 11 and withstood taking a liner off his glove in pitching the Cleveland Indians past the Twins 8-1 on Tuesday night.
“I’m glad nothing happened,” he said. “Everything’s fine. It’s part of the game.”
Francisco Lindor matched a career high with four hits while Jose Ramirez drove in three runs for the AL Central leaders.
Carrasco (16-7) allowed four hits in 7 2/3 innings. He is tied for second in the majors in wins, one behind Luis Severino of the Yankees.
In the fifth, Carrasco was hit in the glove by Ehire Adrianza’s liner. The force of the blow knocked Carrasco to the ground, but the right-hander immediately got to his feet. The ball rolled toward second baseman Jason Kipnis, who had no play at first.
Indians manager Terry Francona and a team trainer went to the mound, and Carrasco signaled he wasn’t injured. The pitcher smiled as the trainer wiped dirt off his left hand and wrist with a towel.
Francona admitted he was concerned when he headed on the field.
“It didn’t sound good,” he said. “I was so relieved when it was his glove. He turned around and told us right away that it hit his glove, but I had my momentum going that direction so I kept going just to check on him.”
On June 16 at Progressive Field, Carrasco was struck on the right elbow by a line drive from Twins star Joe Mauer. Carrasco sustained a bruise and missed three weeks — he is 8-2 in 11 starts since returning July 6.
Carrasco admitted his mind flashed back to what occurred over two months ago.
“That was when I thought about the last time I was facing those guys,” he said. “I was thinking about that. That’s why I started laughing.”
Kyle Gibson (7-11) allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. Jake Cave hit a solo homer in the ninth.
Ramirez had a sacrifice fly in the third and a two-run double in the sixth, driving in his first run since Aug. 17. Lindor and Ramirez were a combined 9 for 58 on Cleveland’s seven-game road trip.
“You know they’re going to hit, but it’s still nice to see,” Francona said. “Frankie stayed in the middle of the field. Josey hit one ball good, another ball he got a hit because he beat it out.”
Edwin Encarnacion and Greg Allen each drove in two runs for the Indians, who have dominated the AL Central but are 9-8 against the Twins. Cleveland is 31-11 against the rest of the division and leads second-place Minnesota by 14 games.
“The game looks flat when you’re not swinging the bats well and are striking out,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We didn’t get much going. They were better tonight.”
Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (stress fracture in right leg) threw off the mound and played catch up to 320 feet without a walking boot. He is still frustrated that his potential AL Cy Young Award season was derailed when he was struck on the leg by a line drive on Aug. 11.
“I’m just sitting here and all of my personal season goals are slowly drifting away because I took a line drive off the ankle,” he said.
Francona hopes Bauer will make two or three appearances for the Indians before the regular season ends, but no timeline for his return has been established.
Twins RHP Michael Pineda (right knee) and LHP Adalberto Mejia (left wrist) will miss the remainder of the season. Pineda had Tommy John surgery in July of last year and was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester. He has a slight meniscus tear that could require surgery. Mejia is experiencing nerve problems in his strained wrist.
The cap worn by Twins RHP Oliver Drake on Tuesday will be sent to the baseball Hall of Fame, which requested a souvenir from his major league record fifth team of the season. He pitched for the Brewers, Indians, Angels and Blue Jays before being claimed by Minnesota off waivers on Aug. 3. Drake struck out the side in the seventh.
Twins: SS Jorge Polanco was not in the lineup after experiencing leg cramps Sunday.
Twins RHP Kohl Stewart (0-1, 6.94 ERA) takes on Indians RHP Adam Plutko (4-4, 5.09 ERA) in the second game of the series.