Carlos Carrasco guides Indians to 8-1 victory over Twins
CLEVELAND - The Twins took their annual team picture at Target Field last week. For accuracys sake, they should photoshop Carlos Carrasco in there somewhere.
Carrasco is a latter-day Mark Buehrle, seemingly showing up on the mound to face the Twins on a weekly basis. Hes started more Twins games than Ervin Santana this season; come to think of it, hes appeared in more Twins games in 2018 a record-tying six, three in August alone than nine pitchers who have worn Minnesotas uniform.
And familiarity is breeding zeroes for the Cleveland righthander. For the third time this season, Carrasco didnt allow a Twins player to cross home plate on Tuesday, guiding the Indians to a convincing 8-1 victory in Progressive Field.
The 31-year-old Venezuelan gave up a single to Joe Mauer in the first inning, a double to Mauer in the third, and a pair of meaningless singles after that. But mostly, he dominated, mixing in an occasional curveball or changeup in with his 93-mph fastball, and piling up 11 strikeouts. The sum total of the Twins offense against him: Four hits, two walks, and zero baserunners ever advancing even a single base the entire night.
No wonder Carrasco left to a loud standing ovation from the 19,194 in the house with two outs in the eighth inning.
The Twins did manage to avoid being shut out for the seventh time this season, when Jake Cave connected off Dan Otero in the ninth inning, lining his seventh home run into the fifth row in right field.
Being shut down by Carrasco is not unusual for the Twins; in his three shutout starts against Minnesota, totaling 22 innings, only one Twin ever reached third base Mauer, with a sixth-inning triple back in Target Field on Aug. 1. Oh, the Twins occasional get to him, too his ERA in those six starts this season is just 3.51, and thanks to a shaky bullpen, the Indians are only 2-4 with Carrasco on the mound against Minnesota but when hes on a roll like Tuesday, there is little the Twins can do.
Kyle Gibson knows the feeling of facing a frequent foe, but the Indians seem to be figuring him out. On Tuesday, his fifth start of the season against Cleveland, the Twins righthander allowed eight hits, all of them singles, in his 5 1/3 innings, but they wound up amounting to five runs. Its the most he has allowed to the Indians this year, and hes now lost four of his last six starts, three of them to Cleveland.