The Cleveland Indians completed a two-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers to finish out their brief “homestand,” prevailing 3-1 over the Brew Crew behind an afternoon outing from Carlos Carrasco that started shaky but finished strong.
Carrasco nearly imploded in the second inning. After striking out four of the first six batters he faced, Carrasco allowed back-to-back two-out singles to Jonathan Villar and Erik Latz before loading the bases when Eric Sogard reached on an infield single that Francisco Lindor wasn’t able to make a play on. Lorenzo Cain came to the plate and took Carrasco to a full count before flying out to right field, ending the threat and keeping the score knotted at zero.
He wasn’t as fortunate the next inning. Christian Yelich opened the top of the third inning with a leadoff double on an 0-2 pitch from Carrasco. Yelich advanced to third on a groundout by Jesus Aguilar before scoring on a Travis Shaw single to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.
But Carrasco was able to bounce back after that, limiting the Brewers to two hits and one walk after the third inning. In the two innings when the Brewers reached base, he got out of both innings by inducing double plays. Carrasco finished with 10 strikeouts over seven innings of work.
The Indians had a runner in scoring position with one out in both the first and second innings, but squandered both opportunities. After four shutout innings, the Tribe finally tied the score in the fifth inning. Rajai Davis singled to right center with one out before stealing second base. Lindor followed with a walk, then Michael Brantley stepped up to deliver an RBI single on a groundball just outside the reach of the shortstop, scoring Davis.
That single chased starter Chase Anderson, who was replaced by Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress with Jose Ramirez at the plate, one out, and runners at the corners. Ramirez promptly doubled to right field, scoring Lindor and giving the Indians a 2-1 lead. Edwin Encarnacion walked to load the bases and Yonder Alonso followed suit, extending their lead to 3-1.
Neil Ramirez, Oliver Perez, and Cody Allen each took a slice of the eighth inning before Allen brought it home with a scoreless ninth to record the save.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Rajai Davis stole three bases in the game. When I’m 37-years-old, I hope to be as good at anything as Davis is at stealing bases.