CLEVELAND— Carlos Carrasco turned in a strong performance, Lonnie Chisenhall drove in three runs and the Indians continued to stay in the American League Wild Card hunt with an 8-3 victory over the Royals on Monday night at Progressive Field.
The win was the 13th win the last 18 games for Cleveland, which remained 4 1/2 games behind the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot.
“We’re close,” Carrasco said. “There’s only 20 games left. I think we can make it.”
Kansas City, on the other hand, has dropped eight of 10 and has a magic number of 11, while holding a two-game lead over the idle Blue Jays for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
In his second start following a stint on the disabled list due to a right shoulder issue, Carrasco limited the Royals to one run on five hits in six innings, ending with nine strikeouts en route to his 13th win. Alex Gordon belted a leadoff homer off Carrasco in the first inning, but the starter held Kansas City in check from there.
Royals manager Ned Yost said of Carrasco, “He always has good stuff. He has a really good slider, good fastball. Looked like we would get off to a really great start. Gordon, first-pitch homer. And then, he just settled in. He’s tough.”
The Royals rallied for two runs in the seventh, but Chisenhall (RBI single) and Yan Gomes (two-run double) helped the Indians pull away with a three-run outburst off reliever Kelvin Herrera in the home half of the inning.
“They have the best bullpen in baseball,” Chisenhall said. “They usually play six-inning games with Herrera and Wade [Davis] and Greg [Holland] out there. So it’s nice to be able to put a few runs up and stretch the lead out.”
Royals right-hander Edinson Volquez (13-8) was charged with four runs on seven hits in five innings, which included a leadoff homer by the Tribe’s Jason Kipnis in the first. Rookie third baseman Giovanny Urshela also homered off Volquez, belting a solo shot in the fourth.