The Indians’ current five-game losing streak began with Carlos Carrasco’s last appearance, and now Carrasco is being looked to by the Tribe to end that streak and maintain at least a game and a half lead in the American League Central over the hard-charging Detroit Tigers.
Carrasco (4-3, 5.18 ERA) faces Francisco Liriano (3-5, 5.73 ERA) on Tuesday night as Cleveland takes on the Minnesota Twins in the middle game of their three-game series at Progressive Field.
Minnesota has won five in a row to trim their deficit in the Central to 11.5 games, and will welcome back Liriano from a brief stay on the DL with shoulder inflammation. Liriano, it will be remembered, no-hit the Chicago hite Sox on May 3, so even with the high ERA, he is capable of shutting a team down.
Liriano is 5-3 in his career against the Tribe in 12 appearances, including 10 starts, with an ERA of 3.51, and in 2010 Liriano was 3-0 vs. Cleveland. And while, as noted above, Liriano has a high ERA, away from Target Field that ERA is a very good 3.11.
Carrasco will be making his second appearance against the Twins in 2011 after getting a no-decision on April 24. In that one Carrasco went only three innings before being pulled after giving up six hits and two runs in a game that the Indians eventually ended up losing 4-3, and was Carrasco’s last action before going on the disabled list, so tonight’s battle will be a match-up with two starters who have had DL time this season.
Carrasco is 0-1 in three career starts against Minnesota but with a fine 2.76 ERA in 16.1 innings. But at home in 2011 Carrasco is only 1-3 with an ERA of 7.61. Carrasco has surrendered 20 earned runs in only 23.2 innings at Progressive Field.
This series and the homestand will wrap up on Wednesday at 12:05 when Justin Masterson takes on ex-Indian Carl Pavano.