Having clinched the AL Central title with a win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, Royals manager Ned Yost gave the day off to seven of the Royals regulars. This admittedly made Carrasco’s job a little easier, but that should not diminish the magnitude of his performance. After Alex Rios broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning, Carrasco bore down and struck out the next six batters he faced.
This was the second time this season that Carrasco pitched a complete game one-hit shutout. On August 4, he blanked the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2-0.
The Indians came out swinging, as Jose Ramirez, Abraham Almonte, and Carlos Perez each homered, accounting for the first five Indians runs. Ramirez, who had been expected to bat near the bottom of the lineup, was moved up to second after Michael Brantley was scratched shortly before game time. His first-inning homer gave the Indians a 1-0 lead, which was all the scoring they really needed.
The Indians will probably come up short in their bid to reach the postseason, but performances like the one Carrasco gave on Friday give one a sense of hope just the same. The Tribe and Royals will play the second game of the series on Saturday, and it’s safe to say that Yost, who wants his club to maintain home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, will field a team full of regulars for the rest of the series.