Probably the least-likely guy you would have thought of to come through with 8.1 scoreless innings and get a win for the Indians would have been Carlos Carrasco. But since baseball, though a game of numbers, is still played between the lines, the unlikely sometimes happens.
Carrasco was brilliant tonight, holding the Twins to three hits until being pulled with one out in the ninth with one aboard, and Chris Perez came on, got the second out on a nice play by Orlando Cabrera at second, and fanned Michael Cuddyer to end it for his 15th save, as the Indians broke their five-game losing streak and the Twins five-game run with a 1-0 victory at Progressive Field. The win also broke the Tribe's seven-game slide at home.
It is good that the Tribe was able to get this one, as Detroit is once again comfortably ahead of Texas, so Cleveland is likely to still be only a game and a half ahead of the Tigers come tomorrow.
The only run in this one scored in the fourth inning. Carlos Santana led off with a double off of Francisco Liriano (3-6, 5.20 ERA), and Santana motored to third on an error by left-fielder Delmon Young. Shelley Duncan then drove in the runner from third on a ground out, and that, folks, was that.
Liriano went five innings and surrendered only that unearned run on three of the Tribe’s four hits. Liriano walked three and fanned seven in his first game back from the DL -- an impressive performance, but not quite enough on this night.
The Twins’ bullpen did their job, tossing three scoreless innings and allowing only one hit, but Carrasco would not fold.
In his 8.1 innings Carrasco (5-3, 4.52 ERA) allowed only a double and two singles, The Twins did not get a base-runner until the fifth, when they bunched a double from Young and a base-hit from Luke Hughes to put runners at the corners with only one out, but Carrasco got Brian Dinkelman to foul out to catcher Lou Marson and struck out Rene Rivera to end that threat.
The only other time all night that the Twins got a runner to second was in the ninth, when Ben Revere singled with one out and advanced to second before being stranded when Perez finished the shutout.
The game lasted only 2:13, and it feels good to go into the 12:05 game tomorrow afternoon with a nice quick win and with Justin Masterson slated to try to win this series and end the homestand on a positive note.