The bullpen — which managed to escape yesterday’s 3-2 loss to the Brew Crew without allowing a single run to score, no small feat — was a non-factor, as Carlos Carrasco went the distance. He allowed five hits and two earned runs over nine innings, striking out 14 batters. At one point, Carrasco struck out six consecutive batters.
The Brewers never even threatened until the seventh inning, when back-to-back singles led to Christian Yelich scoring from third on a fielder’s choice from Travis Shaw. Lorenzo Cain led off the ninth inning with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Jesus Aguilar after advancing to third on a groundout by Yelich.
It was exactly the kind of outing the Tribe needed from Carrasco, who struggled in his last two starts to the tune of 10 earned runs over 8.1 innings pitched.
The Indians’ offense also showed up to back Cookie with six runs of support, led by the red hot Francisco Lindor. Milwaukee starting pitcher Junior Guerra seemed to be in control through the first three innings, racking up six strikeouts. Then the fourth inning happened, and what started with a Jose Ramirez double and a Michael Brantley RBI single ended with a three-run home run courtesy of Tyler Naquin and 4-0 lead for the Tribe.
Lindor added a solo homer to lead off the 7th, his sixth home run in his last eight games. Still not a power hitter, though. His slash line from those last eight games: .432/.447/1.027. To say the shortstop is heating up would be an understatement.
Not to be outdone, Carrasco helped pad the lead at the plate with a ninth-inning RBI single to score Roberto Perez, who was on third after a leadoff triple. I do not currently have video evidence of Perez’s triple, so if you missed the game, you’ll have to take my word for it.
Next: Tomorrow’s a travel day — a.k.a another day of much-needed rest for the bullpen — before the Tribe returns home to open up a weekend series against the Kansas City Royals. The Indians will skip Josh Tomlin’s turn in the rotation and send Trevor Bauer to the mound to face Jason Hammel on Friday night at Progressive Field.