"He's tough because he uses his changeup well," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "You may get one pitch during an at-bat. But he has that 97-mph fastball and it makes it tough."
"I thought he did really well," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Carrasco. "We got on the scoreboard early, which is a good way to win. And he pitched really effectively against a lineup that feels pretty good about themselves."
The Indians chased Duffy in the second when five straight hitters reached safely. Lonnie Chisenhall, former Royal Brett Hayes and Jason Kipnis all delivered RBI hits, the last of which sent Duffy to the showers.
Duffy's start was the shortest non-injury outing of his career. He was charged with four runs and six hits in one-plus innings.
"He just looked out of sorts to me," Royals manager Ned Yost said. " ... and it didn't look like he was going to find it."
Cleveland's Brandon Moss homered and doubled and drove in three runs.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Chasing Duffy: After scoring once in the first inning, the Indians kept their foot on the gas in the second. Each of the first five batters in the inning reached base, sending Duffy to an early exit after only 45 pitches. The five-batter outburst included three consecutive run-scoring hits. Chisenhall delivered an RBI double, followed by an RBI single each for Hayes and Kipnis, putting Cleveland ahead, 4-0. More >
"Duffy was struggling with his command a little bit," Moss said. "He got ahead of some guys, but then couldn't finish them off. Even when we made outs, we were able to run his pitch count up and foul off some pretty decent pitches. Getting him out of the game in the second inning is huge."
Morales' blast: Down 5-0, the Royals began chipping away when Kendrys Morales lifted a two-run shot to right-center that measured 396 feet. Morales' homer was his team-leading fourth of the year and nearly blew back in the ballpark. The ball looked like it would drop into the Indians' bullpen at first, but strong gusts pushed it toward right-center where it barely made it over the fence -- it was almost comical watching Moss, in right field, chase after it racing horizontally along the warning track.
The Royals later crept within 5-3 on Hosmer's RBI double.
"We thought we had a chance there, definitely," Hosmer said. "But they answered, credit to them."
Piling on: After Kansas City threatened to pull even with the Tribe, Cleveland's lineup found its second wind in the seventh. Facing lefty Franklin Morales, Carlos Santana led off with a walk and Michael Brantley followed with a bloop single that dropped to the grass in shallow center between four defenders. Ryan Raburn (RBI double), Moss (two-run double) and Mike Aviles (RBI single) then helped the Indians run to a 9-3 advantage. Moss added a towering home run off Royals reliever Jason Frasor in the ninth -- the fifth blast of the year for the right fielder. More >
"That was a big swing there," Francona said. "[Carrasco] holds them and then we score four. That's the way we're going to have to play, because they're a good team."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Royals right-hander Chris Young, who threw five innings of no-hit ball last Friday in a spot start, threw 2 1/3 more innings of no-hit ball on Wednesday. He had thrown two-thirds of an inning of hitless ball before the start, meaning he has thrown eight straight no-hit frames.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians:Corey Kluber will be aiming to get back on track for the Tribe when he takes the hill on Thursday at 2:10 p.m. ET in the finale of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. In his American League Cy Young encore, Kluber has gone 0-4 with a 4.62 ERA through six starts. He has posted a 7.27 ERA in his last three outings, allowing 31 hits in 17 1/3 innings.
Royals: Right-hander Edinson Volquez takes the mound for the Royals in the series finale with Cleveland at 1:10 p.m. CT. Volquez, 2-3 with a 2.10 ERA, went six innings and gave up two runs in his last start on Saturday against the Tigers. The Royals are hoping to get back shortstop Alcides Escobar, who has been on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.