KANSAS CITY -- For four innings on Saturday, things couldn't have looked much better for Carlos Carrasco and the Indians. But over the final five innings, things couldn't have gone much worse.Staked to a 3-0 lead in the second thanks to home runs by Carlos Santana and Bradley Zimmer, the
KANSAS CITY -- For four innings on Saturday, things couldn't have looked much better for Carlos Carrasco and the Indians. But over the final five innings, things couldn't have gone much worse.
Staked to a 3-0 lead in the second thanks to home runs by Carlos Santana and Bradley Zimmer, the Indians had to feel good. Especially with Carrasco breezing through four innings while allowing just one hit. But it all changed in a hurry in the fifth as the Royals got to a guy who entered Saturday ranked seventh in the American League with a 2.89 ERA. When the scoreboard finally stopped blinking, the Royals had put up 11 unanswered runs en route to a 12-5 Indians loss.
Carrasco opened the fateful fifth by allowing singles to Jorge Bonifacio and Brandon Moss before Whit Merrifield doubled home two runs. Carrasco then compounded his problems by walking No. 9 hitter Alex Gordon, who started the day with a .172 batting average. Alcides Escobar popped out trying to sacrifice, but then Mike Moustakas stroked a two-strike, two-run double and just like that, Carrasco was done for the day with his team down, 4-3.
"It looked like when it was starting to go, it was starting to go quick," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's why we got somebody up so fast. His velocity dropped. They were hitting some balls hard."
Despite the talk of a drop in velocity, Carrasco insisted he has no health issues.
"I feel fine," Carrasco said. "I think I got behind in the count. ... There's nothing you can do except get ready for the next start."
Although the Royals managed just one hit through four innings, they felt like they could get to Carrasco.
"I feel like he was fighting his command the entire game," Royals centerfielder Lorenzo Cain said. "He wasn't as sharp as he normally is."
Carrasco said he may have used his changeup too much against Moustakas, who put Kansas City on top for good with his two-run double.
"I threw four changeups in a row," Carrasco said. "Then he hit the double."
Carrasco said he didn't feel any different when he came out for the fifth.
"No, I didn't," Carrasco said. "I just got behind in the count."
Francona tried to keep it close by bringing on Nicholas Goody, but Cain greeted him with a two-run homer. And so it went, as the Indians committed three errors that contributed to four unearned Royals runs.
"I thought we caught a break when they popped up the [attempted sacrifice] bunt," Francona said. "From there, everything unraveled. They hit the ball hard, and we didn't catch it."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City who covered the Indians on Saturday.