ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Once Carlos Carrasco settled down his stomach, he could concentrate on taming the Tampa Bay Rays.
Carrasco worked eight efficient innings, giving up three hits and one run while throwing 93 pitches, and the Cleveland Indians topped the Rays 4-1 Wednesday night.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Carrasco was battling some “intestinal turmoil.”
“A little bit at the beginning, it was my stomach, but you have to make an adjustment,” Carrasco said. “I think I might have ate something bad last night, but it’s fine now.”
Jason Kipnis hit his first home run of the season to give the Indians a 4-0 cushion in the eighth.
“We’ve got to create runs,” Kipnis said. “We’re not going to be one of those lineups that just goes out and plays because we’re not as good as some of those guys. But when we do (aggressive) stuff, I think we’re one of the better lineups around the league. It puts pressure on the defense and can cause some havoc.”
Carrasco (1-0) struck out eight and walked one. He came within one strike of a no-hitter at Tropicana Field last July and held Tampa Bay to just a single and a walk through the first seven innings in this one.
“I think it’s really good (to pitch here) because I live here,” said Carrasco, who is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA at the ballpark. “Second, every time we come here, we play good.”
Drew Smyly (0-2) tied a career high with 11 strikeouts in seven innings. The left-hander gave up three runs on three hits, all in the fourth inning.
“I knew it was going to be a pitcher’s duel,” Smyly said. “Carrasco has amazing stuff. He just beat us today.”
Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his second save.
After Carrasco and Smyly went perfect through three innings, the Indians broke through in the fourth.
Rajai Davis led off the inning with a double and Kipnis followed with a single. Davis scored the first run on Francisco Lindor’s groundball, and the Indians added runs with a double by Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana’s sacrifice fly and a throwing error by second baseman Logan Forsythe when Lindor tagged up on a short flyball.
“If Logan gets the throw down, we’re going to talk about that as one of the best plays of the year,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It’s a tricky play. We just want the ball caught.”
Curt Casali drove in Tampa Bay’s run with a double, but the Rays’ streak of 21 straight games with at least one home run ended.
CARRASCO’S 5K STREAK REACHES 20
Four straight strikeouts over the third and fourth innings gave Carrasco five for the game, marking his 20th straight start of five or more strikeouts. Hall of Famer Bob Feller is the only Indians pitcher with a longer streak, having done it in 28 straight starts in 1945 and 1946.
A TIME AND A PLACE
Francona appreciated Lindor’s aggressive baserunning, but noted there are limits. “He always does that,” Francona said. “Not sure about stealing third with two outs (in the sixth). We’ll work on that one, but as long as guys are hustling it’s easy to talk to him about it.”
Indians: Francona said OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery) “felt really good” after doubling in two at-bats and playing four innings in left field during his first rehab game Tuesday with Triple-A Columbus. He will play for Double-A Akron on Thursday and continue playing every other day for the next week. … OF Lonnie Chisenhall (left wrist) will also join Akron on Thursday after three games with Columbus. … RHP Tommy Hunter (abdominal surgery) allowed one run and three hits over an inning in his second appearance with Columbus.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) felt fine one day after throwing halfway up a mound for the first time. He could return before the season ends.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar, who gave up two hits in 7 2/3 innings in a 6-2 win here on June 30 last year, pitches the series finale Thursday.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer, winless in his last eight starts and 0-2 this season, will face Salazar. “The biggest thing, when you have a bad outing is bouncing back and trusting your ability, trusting your stuff,” Archer said. “I know and I trust that if I fill up the strike zone, then I’ll get the ultimate goal and that’s a team win.”
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