Carrasco (4-2, 4.91 ERA) went six innings and then handed the game over to Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp and Rafael and Chris Perez, who cumulatively held the Rays to a single unearned run in the final three innings.
Chris Perez faced one hitter, who reached on a bobbled-ball error by Matt LaPorta, but a base-running gaffe at third base by the Rays enabled the Indians to finish the game off. Two Tampa Bay runners found themselves at third after the Rays scored to get to within 7-3, and Carlos Santana eventually recorded the third out in a rundown with Sean Rodriguez between third and the plate after the Indians were ready to give up on the play. But Perez saw what was going on at third, ran across, and after one missed tag on Rodriguez by Orlando Cabrera, Santana applied the game-ending tag.
The losing pitcher was James Shields, who dropped to 5-2 and whose ERA rose from 2.00 to 2.15. Shields allowed two runs in a wild first and surrendered a solo shot to LaPorta (Matt's sixth homer) in the second before settling in. Shields ended up going seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
In the first, Michael Brantley led off with a hit and scored on an Asdrubal Cabrera triple. Cabrera was then picked off at third for the first out. Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Buck then singled to put runners at the corners, but Carlos Santana hit a fly ball to right, and Buck was doubled off, but not before Choo scored to make it 2-0.
After LaPorta’s homer put the Indians up 3-0, the Rays crept closer when Evan Longoria went deep in the third. The Rays made it 3-2 in the fourth when Rodriguez laid down a bunt for a base-hit, scoring Matt Joyce and leaving two on with only one out.
Carrasco stiffened and retired the next two in the fourth and that was all the Rays could muster until their bizarre run in the ninth.
The Tribe put the game away with four runs in the eighth. Cleveland loaded the bases with nobody out, thanks to an error and a hit-batsman, then Shelley Duncan delivered a two-run pinch-hit single to deep center. With two outs Orlando Cabrera came through with a two-run single, and the Indians had scored more than enough to carry the day.
Carrasco, who has enjoyed 26 runs of support in his three-game winning streak, allowed seven hits and struck out four while not walking anyone.
A much-needed start for Carrasco and a much-needed win for the Indians, who will wrap up this series tomorrow afternoon when the Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson (5-3, 3,14 ERA) takes on Cleveland’s Justin Masterson (5-2, 2.50 ERA) in a game which will start at 1:40.