When Carlos Carrasco loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning tonight in New York against the Yankees with nobody out, most Indians’ fans probably had a very familiar and sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs.
But then something marvelous happened, as Carrasco got Alex Rodgriguez to fly out, followed with a strikeout and a grounder to escape, and then continued tightrope-walking his way through seven shutout innings, as the Tribe salvaged the last game of this 4-game set and assured that they would go into Detroit at least percentage points ahead of the Tigers at the beginning of their three-game set, beginning Tuesday night.
The second straight 1-0 win with Carrasco on the mound was wrapped up by the bullpen. Tony Sipp pitched two-thirds of an inning in the eighth before turning it over to Vinnie Pestano, who walked Rodriguez but then got the third out by retiring Robinson Cano.
And in the bottom of the ninth, Chris Perez came on and struck out the side to pick up his 16th save of the season and locking up this oh-so-important win.
The hard-luck loser was A.J. Burnett (6-5, 4.09 ERA), who went 7.2 innings and gave up only the one run on five hits.
Carrasco improved to 6-3 and lowered his ERA to 4.09. In 15.1 frames in his last two starts, Carrasco has allowed only eight hits and no runs, while walking four and fanning 13.
The only run scored in the top of the fourth when Michael Brantley led off with a triple and came in to score when Asdrubal Cabrera went the other way and poked a single through the left side.
The Tribe went only 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base, while the Yankees were 0-for-7 with RISP and stranded eight.
Now Cleveland heads for Detroit. The Tigers, at the time of writing, are in extra innings, deadlocked at 1-1 with the Tampa Bay Rays.