KANSAS CITY— Right-hander Carlos Carrasco threw 6 1/3 innings of no-hit ball and finished with a one-hitter while striking out a career-high 15 as the Indians rolled to a 6-0 win over the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Carrasco became the first Indians pitcher to pile up at least 15 strikeouts in a shutout consisting of no more than one hit allowed. That overpowering pitching line has only been achieved 16 times in the Majors since 1914 -- most recently by Washington’s Max Scherzer on June 14 earlier this season.
“He was unreal today, man,” Indians catcher Roberto Perez said. “He pounded the zone. It almost seemed like they didn’t know what was coming. So, that made it easy for us to call a game.”
The Royals’ lead over Toronto for home-field advantage throughout the postseason dropped to one game. The Indians pulled within three games of the second American League Wild Card spot, with the Rangers’ 6-2 win over the Astros.
Alex Rios singled sharply up the middle to break up the no-hit bid. Jose Ramirez, Abraham Almonte and Perez all homered for the Tribe.
Asked if he got a little nervous about being no-hit, Royals manager Ned Yost said, “I don’t get nervous. I was a little concerned.”
“When I saw we had five runs, I was like, ‘OK, this is my time to do my best,’” Carrasco said. “We’re right there. We’re only [three] games back and I think we have only 10 games left. You never know what can happen.”
Carrasco, who delivered his first career one-hitter, was dominant against a Royals’ lineup that featured only two regulars as Yost rested his “A” lineup a night after clinching the AL Central. Carrasco walked two.
Yost said he would have started using his regulars in the eighth and ninth if Rios hadn’t gotten his hit.
“He could have beat anybody tonight with that stuff,” Yost said. “The job that he did out there, he’s going to beat anybody with that stuff tonight.
“I do not regret [the lineup] one single bit. Again, it’s important. These guys have been playing their tails off. They accomplished something special. I wanted them to celebrate it. I didn’t want them to cut their celebration short thinking, ‘OK, well, we got to play tomorrow.’ Celebrate it. Enjoy it. We’ll get back to business tomorrow.”
Right-hander Edinson Volquez started for the Royals and gave up three runs through six innings. He struck out seven.