Carrasco (7-3) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, extended his scoreless streak to 21 1-3 innings and won his third straight start as the Cleveland Indians beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 Saturday night.
“He pitched great,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “He was in command of all his pitches.”
The Indians have won four of six games after losing nine of 10. Pittsburgh lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak and dropped to 0-12 in road interleague games since winning at Minnesota on June 17, 2009.
Leading 3-0 but with two Pirates on base in the sixth, pitching coach Tim Belcher went to the mound to talk to Carrasco.
“I told him he was facing a great fastball hitter but reminded him he had to be a man because he had the stuff to get him out,” Belcher said. “He looked me right in the eye and said, ‘I know that.’
“I was really proud of him. He should be proud, too.”
Rookie Michael McKenry(notes) broke up Carrasco’s no-hit bid with a leadoff single off a leaping Cabrera’s glove that the second baseman couldn’t pick up cleanly as McKenry dove headfirst into the bag at first without a throw.
“I thought he would catch it,” Acta said. “I was thinking no-hitter like everybody else and I wanted him to catch it.”
“I said to myself, ‘OK, he gets a base hit, just relax and focus,” Carrasco said about McKenry’s single. “Then with another man on, I didn’t want to give up a run. I threw some good fastballs and got the last strikeout on a slider.”
Belcher loved the way Carrasco challenged McCutchen, who leads the Pirates with 10 homers and 41 runs.
“It was a six or seven pitch at-bat and he threw at least three good fastballs there,” Belcher said. “He manned up.”
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he felt confident with his No. 2 and No. 3 hitters coming to the plate, but gave Carrasco credit.
“There’s usually one spot when you have a chance to get back in the game,” Hurdle said. “We had that moment. We had Xavier and Andrew coming up. They’ve both been swinging the bat well. He pitched them the same way all night. We weren’t able to do anything with it.”
Carrasco, a key piece of the trade that sent Cy Young winner Cliff Lee(notes) to Philadelphia in July 2009, threw mostly fastballs to get first-pitch strikes on 17 of 24 batters. He then mixed in an array of curves, sliders and changeups to strike out four and get 11 outs on ground balls to earn his sixth win in seven starts since May 17.
Until Garrett Jones(notes) doubled and scored on a single by Lyle Overbay(notes) to make it 3-1 in the seventh, Carrasco had not allowed a run since June 2 against Texas. The right-hander then got consecutive 1-0 wins over Minnesota and the New York Yankees, allowing three hits over 8 1-3 innings to the Twins and five hits over seven innings on Monday night in New York.
Sizemore was hit by a pitch to open the Indians’ first and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana(notes). In the second, Austin Kearns(notes) singled and twice moved up on groundouts before Sizemore doubled him home.
Cabrera’s third homer in the sixth made it 3-0.
Sizemore opened the seventh with a drive off the yellow line atop the center-field wall. He slid into third as fireworks went off—the traditional signal for a home run by the home team at Progressive Field. Sizemore scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley(notes). Shin-Soo Choo(notes) added an RBI single off reliever Tony Watson(notes) later in the inning for a 5-1 lead.
Maholm gave up four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. The lefty had pitched shutout ball in three of his previous four starts.
NOTES: Cleveland put 1B Matt LaPorta(notes) on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle and recalled OF Travis Buck(notes) from Triple-A Columbus. … Pittsburgh has not been no-hit since St. Louis’ Bob Gibson did it Aug. 14, 1971. … Former Indians stars Kenny Lofton and Carlos Baerga are signing autographs and meeting fans before and during games all weekend as part of the team’s ambassador program. … Ex-Cleveland 1B-OF Wil Cordero visited the Indians clubhouse. He’s coaching youth baseball in Massachusetts. … Pirates INF Pedro Alvarez(notes) (right quad strain) has begun limited baseball activities. … RHP Stetson Allie, the Pirates’ second-round pick in 2010, is scheduled to make his professional debut for Class A State College on Monday. Allie lives in the Cleveland suburb of Olmsted Falls.