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Carrasco flirts with no-no in another win vs. Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Once again, Carlos Carrasco made himself totally at home on the Tropicana Field mound.
Carrasco took another no-hit try into the late innings at Tampa Bay, losing his bid on a two-out single in the seventh by Logan Morrison but leading the Cleveland Indians over the Rays 5-0 Friday night.
In July 2015, Carrasco came within one strike of a no-hitter at Tampa Bay before Joey Butler lined a two-out single in the ninth over leaping second baseman Jason Kipnis.
“I think it’s pretty special pitching here,” Carrasco said. “I live here in the offseason, so I had a lot of friends and family coming tonight.”
Carrasco was in charge until Morrison’s clean single to right field.
“I was supposed to throw the curveball down and in and it went away. He put a good swing on it,” Carrasco said. “I’m not disappointed. This is a game where anything can happen. Most important is we won the game.”
Carrasco is 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA at Tropicana Field, giving up just 14 hits in 32 1/3 innings while striking out 35.
“His numbers here are not a joke,” said Evan Longoria, who struck out twice against Carrasco before leaving the game with a bruised left thumb. “It’s frustrating, but the guy pitches really well here. His stuff, when he’s on, is electric.”
No Cleveland pitcher has thrown a no-hitter since Len Barker tossed a perfect game in 1981.
Carrasco came close in September 2015, too, holding Kansas City hitless for 6 1/3 innings.
Carrasco (11-5) won for the first time in six starts since the All-Star break. He gave up two hits, struck out 10 and walked two in eight innings.
“For whatever reason, whether it’s the mound, whether it’s the environment, man, he goes out and pitches good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And it was nice to kind of break through and get those runs because neither team had anything. We got him a little cushion and he pitched a heck of a game.”
Edwin Encarnacion hit his 23rd home run, connecting off Jake Faria (5-3).
The Rays were shut out for the fourth time in seven games.
Carrasco and Faria each started the game with four perfect innings, which were played in 52 minutes and included 11 strikeouts.
Encarnacion’s homer was the first hit off Faria. Carrasco permitted his first runner when he walked Steven Souza Jr. with one out in the fifth.
Tampa Bay’s other hit off Carrasco came in the eighth when Mallex Smith beat out an infield chopper by sliding into first base. Indians reliever Tyler Olson pitched the ninth and completed the combined three-hitter.
After never giving up more than four runs in any of his first 11 starts, Faria was charged with five runs in the fifth. Jay Bruce followed Encarnacion’s homer with a sharp single, his first hit since being traded by the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
Carlos Santana then walked, and Yan Gomes popped up a bunt that went for a hit when catcher Wilson Ramos dove for it unsuccessfully, the first of three defensive failures for the Rays in the big inning. Jose Ramirez drove in the fifth run with a groundball that skipped past second baseman Brad Miller for a double.
Indians: Kipnis, who left Thursday night’s game early with a tight hamstring, will test it again Saturday. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee tendinitis) threw a bullpen session, and is scheduled to throw another Sunday, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (fractured hip) took batting practice, and will DH the next two days for Class A Port Charlotte. He hasn’t played since June 9.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger (5-4) will make his first start since July 31 on Saturday night. He pitched an inning of relief against the Yankees on Sunday.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (8-6) will be going for his 16th straight start of pitching at least six innings.