Right-hander Carlos Carrasco threw five scoreless innings and picked up his first victory since 2011 as the Indians pulled out a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Jacoby Ellsbury broke up the shutout with two out in the ninth with a solo home run to right field off Cody Allen. The Indians took the three-game series 2-1 as the Yankees managed five hits in the finale.
It marked Carrasco’s first victory as a starter since June 29, 2011 at Arizona after a string of 17 consecutive losses or no-decisions. During that dubious span, Carrasco went 0-12 with an 8.09 ERA in 85 2/3 innings and averaged just under five innings per game. The Indians had a 3-14 record in those games.
The Indians’ starting rotation has been erratic behind ace Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer and the Tribe needed help after Justin Masterson was traded on July 30. Carrasco made the roster out of spring training because he was out of options. But he blew that opportunity by compiling an 0-3 record with a 6.95 ERA in four April starts.
Since being sent to the bullpen after an April 30 outing in Los Angeles against the Angels that lasted just 1 2/3 innings, Carrasco, 27, has gradually earned manager Terry Francona’s trust.
In 16 games since June 10, Carrasco had compiled a 1.23 ERA in 26 innings with 23 strikeouts, five walks. In that span, opponents hit .221 against him. Overall during his time in the bullpen, Carrasco went 3-1 with one save and a 2.31 ERA in 43 innings.
“I think he feels like he’s more a part of the team now,” Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway said Saturday. “He got his first win in like three years, he got his first save. He’s done well out of the ‘pen.”
Callaway said Carrasco might have needed that statistical validation.
“I think some people do. When you’re sitting there fighting every day to belong, those kind of things matter to some guys,” Callaway said. “Something tangible they can look at and go, ‘Hey, I helped the team out.’”
Among those in town for the game were Carrasco’s wife Karelis and daughter Camila, 3. But Carrasco said they didn't arrive at Yankee Stadium until the sixth inning because his wife gets too nervous watching him.