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Tribe rides homers, Carrasco past White Sox

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Carlos Carrasco followed the example set by Corey Kluber Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field by shutting out the White Sox over eight innings Saturday in a 7-0 Cleveland victory. Carrasco said the Tribe's rotation is beginning to have the kind of internal competition that helped the team so much last year.

"That's what we want to do," Carrasco said. "Every time Kluber throws and goes seven innings or eight innings, why not? I want to follow that. I think that's good. I did that today and I hope [Danny] Salazar does that tomorrow."

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CHICAGO -- Carlos Carrasco followed the example set by Corey Kluber Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field by shutting out the White Sox over eight innings Saturday in a 7-0 Cleveland victory. Carrasco said the Tribe's rotation is beginning to have the kind of internal competition that helped the team so much last year.

"That's what we want to do," Carrasco said. "Every time Kluber throws and goes seven innings or eight innings, why not? I want to follow that. I think that's good. I did that today and I hope [Danny] Salazar does that tomorrow."

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Video: CLE@CWS: Carrasco fans eight over eight scoreless

The Indians came within three outs, recorded by Zach McAllister in the ninth, of producing back-to-back individual shutouts for the first time since April 16-18, 1981, when Wayne Garland and Bert Blyleven did the honors.

Cleveland's last consecutive overall shutouts came July 27-28, 2013. Carrasco allowed three hits Saturday, walked one and struck out eight.

"He was good," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He attacked the zone. He threw a really good breaking ball, and reached back for his fastball, and challenged hitters when he needed to. He did a great job."

The White Sox offense, meanwhile, dove deeper into a recent funk. They have not scored a run in the past 23 innings, and have had just one baserunner reach second base in this series. Tyler Saladino had two of the three Chicago hits.

Mike Pelfrey suffered the loss, coming up from Triple-A Charlotte to take the spot of the injured James Shields in the starting rotation. He allowed four runs (two earned) over 4 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking one. Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer off of Pelfrey, and Michael Brantley went deep off of reliever Michael Ynoa in the seventh.

"Would have definitely liked to go a little deeper in the game," Pelfrey said. "I'd like to get that 0-2 pitch back in the first to Encarnacion. Unfortunately, that ended up being the game with as good as Carrasco was, and obviously he was on tonight, so kind of tough to put us in a 2-0 hole, especially as good as he was."

Jose Ramirez added a solo homer off of Ynoa in the top of the ninth.

Video: CLE@CWS: Ramirez crushes a solo home run to right

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Down, but not out: Pelfrey had Encarnacion in an 0-2 count with two outs in the first inning when the right-hander fired an elevated, outside fastball. Encarnacion crushed the pitch to center field with an exit velocity of 107 mph, per Statcast™. The two-run blast traveled a projected 437 feet and spotted Carrasco a quick lead. Also according to Statcast™, Encarnacion hit .167 with a .333 slugging percentage on fastballs to that area of the strike zone in 2016.

Video: CLE@CWS: Encarnacion belts a two-run homer to center

"I think that shows what he can do. The strength," Francona said. "He's starting to get a little more aggressive and getting his legs under him a little bit better. I think that bodes well for us."

The streak is over: Jacob May endured 26 consecutive hitless at-bats to begin his career before producing his first hit leading off the seventh inning. May connected on a 1-1 changeup and grounded the ball back up the middle. He received congratulations from Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana, and earned a standing ovation from the crowd. May was pinch-hitting for Melky Cabrera at the time.

Video: CLE@CWS: May singles to center, gets first career hit

QUOTABLE
"When you pitch, it makes the rest of your ballclub look pretty crisp. You catch the ball. The runs you score are meaningful. It's a good way to play."
-- Francona

"Yeah, it was kind of like having Harambe on my back. I was in a chokehold because I couldn't breathe as well. Now that he's gone, hopefully I can have a lot of success and help this team win. That's the ultimate goal to help this team win. Anything I can do to help that out."
-- May on getting his first hit after the 0-for-26 start

THE INJURY REPORT
Zach Putnam left Saturday's contest in the seventh inning with right elbow tenderness after issuing a free pass to Santana to open the frame. It was the first walk from Putnam in 28 hitters faced. Putnam underwent season-ending surgery on Aug. 5 of last season to remove bone fragments from his right elbow. Cabrera departed the game after colliding with the left field wall while chasing a Ramirez foul ball in the top of the seventh. He was removed for precautionary measures, and X-rays were negative. Both players are day to day.

Video: CLE@CWS: Putnam leaves game with apparent injury

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Indians' rotation is riding a streak of 19 1/3 consecutive shutout innings, dating back to Thursday in Minnesota. Over Cleveland's current five-game winning streak, Tribe starters have combined for a 1.53 ERA with 33 strikeouts and eight walks in 35 1/3 innings.

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians:
Right-hander Danny Salazar is scheduled to take the mound for the Tribe in a 2:10 p.m. ET game against the White Sox on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Salazar currently leads Major League starters with 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He has averaged 13.7 K's per nine in 49 1/3 career innings against Chicago.

White Sox: Derek Holland makes his second start of the season against the Indians coming off of a loss against the Yankees during his last trip to the mound. Holland is 6-1 with a 2.35 ERA lifetime against the Indians and is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his last three starts against them. Game time is set for 1:10 p.m. CT.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.