KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Carlos Carrasco had his A-plus stuff and overpowered the Kansas City Royals’ B-team.
Carrasco pitched a one-hitter, allowing only a seventh-inning single, and struck out a career-high 15 to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Royals 6-0 Friday night.
The AL Central Royals didn’t come close to a hit until Alex Rios lined a single to center with one out in the seventh.
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Carrasco (14-11) was trying to pitch Cleveland’s first no-hitter since 1981, when Len Barker threw a perfect game. On July 1, Carrasco was within one strike of a no-hitter against Tampa Bay when Joey Butler singled on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth.
"In Tampa I knew I had a no-hitter," Carrasco said. "This one I feel way different. I really didn’t know I had a no-hitter because I was playing with those guys over there and I was talking (in the dugout). I really didn’t pay attention to that."
After Rios’ single, he struck out the next six hitters.
"He was unreal today, man," his catcher Roberto Perez said. "He pounded the zone."
A day after the Royals clinched their first division crown since 1985, manager Ned Yost opted to sit most of his starters. Ben Zobrist and Rios were the only regulars in the lineup.
"Carrasco would have beaten anybody tonight with that stuff," Yost said. "He was just simply electric, a 97-mph four-seamer, a 94-mph two-seamer with a lot of action and a tremendous split, hard slider, throwing them all for strikes. That’s as good as stuff as we’ve seen all year long."
This was the sixth time this season the Indians took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning.
"Carlos, by his own admission, told me in the first inning, `I feel lethargic,’" Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I said, `Well, go as hard as you can, as long as you can and we’ll get you out of there.’ I hope he feels lethargic next time."
Jose Ramirez, Abraham Almonte and Perez homered.
Ramirez homered in the first and connected in the second for a two-run drive. Perez hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Franklin Morales.
Carrasco fanned every Royals batter at least once. He struck out Zobrist, Paulo Orlando and Jonny Gomes three times.
All of Carrasco’s strikeouts were swinging, as the Royals chased his sharp-breaking pitches out of the strike zone. He walked two.
Edinson Volquez (13-9) yielded three runs on four hits, while walking two and striking out seven over six innings.
"It was a great night for Carrasco and a bad night for us," Volquez said.
Indians: LF Michael Brantley was a late scratch after batting practice, missing his third straight game with a right shoulder injury. He hurt the shoulder on a diving catch attempt Tuesday at Minnesota.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin is 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .158 average in four road starts.
Royals: RHP Kris Medlen threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings to win 2-0 on Sept. 15 at Cleveland. He is 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 25 career September appearances.