Home cooking: Carrasco sensational at Trop

Righty, who lives in nearby Tarpon Springs, goes eight innings

April 14th, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG -- Carlos Carrasco and Collin Cowgill traded high-fives as they walked in the Indians' clubhouse after the right-hander made another fond memory at Tropicana Field.

Nine months after his near no-hitter against the Rays, Carrasco was stellar again Wednesday night in stifling Tampa Bay for eight innings during a 4-1 victory. His touch at a comfortable ballpark remained strong in allowing only one run and four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk, before Cody Allen earned the save in the ninth.

Afterward, with the bass from victory music bumping nearby, Carrasco was pleased.

"Every pitch that I threw -- the fastball, curveball, slider, changeup," Carrasco said, when asked about what worked well. "Everything. … All those guys [had] first-pitch swings, so I just got them missing a little bit back and forth."

Carrasco asserted himself early. He retired the first 10 batters and struck out five during that span, before Logan Morrison cracked a single to right field in the fourth.

The Rays added one run and three hits in the eighth, but the Indians ended the threat when catcher Yan Gomes tagged out Curt Casali at home plate on Logan Forsythe's single to left field.

Carrasco produced the standout start while dealing with a minor stomach issue. He said he ate "something bad" on Tuesday night, but he added that he'll be fine.

"He wasn't feeling the best," manager Terry Francona said.

Carrasco, who has a home in nearby Tarpon Springs, Florida, flirted with history in his previous outing at Tropicana Field. On July 1, 2015, he allowed one run and one hit in 8 2/3 innings, with his no-hit bid spoiled after a two-out single by Joey Butler.

The 29-year-old right-hander improved to 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) at the ballpark. Among pitchers with at least three starts at Tropicana Field, only Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish's 1.35 ERA is better.

"I thought he used his fastball early, and off of that, he threw a really good breaking ball," Francona said. "He pitched really well. … I don't know if he's getting home cooking or what, but it's nice to see. We'll take it."

So will Carrasco. As he prepared to leave a stadium that brings out the best in him, he was content.

"Every time we come here," Carrasco said, "we play good."