CLEVELAND — Jordan Luplow crushed a pair of home runs and Carlos Carrasco pitched five scoreless innings Thursday for the Cleveland Indians in a rain-shortened 5-0 victory against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field.
The game was suspended after five innings and eventually called after a delay of two hours, 34 minutes.
Carrasco (3-3, 4.91) cruised through Chicago’s lineup without issuing a walk. He allowed just two hits while striking out six Chicago batters. After giving up four solo home runs in his last outing against Seattle, Carrasco managed to keep the White Sox in the ballpark. Yonder Alonso’s fourth-inning double was the only extra-base hit he surrendered on 63 pitches.
Carrasco credited his success over his last five outings to a change in mechanics before his start April 17 in Seattle.
“The only thing I changed is the tempo,” Carrasco said. “That’s what I’ve been doing right now and everything’s working well.”
Luplow gave the Indians all the offense they would need in the second when he launched a 422-foot leadoff home run to the bleachers in left against Chicago starter Manny Banuelos. It was Luplow’s first home run of the season and first in an Indians uniform.
Afterward, Luplow said he simplified his approach against Banuelos’ arsenal.
“I was just trying to stay on the fastball,” Luplow said. “Stay in the middle of the field against his little cutter-slider that he likes to run in on guys. Just trying to stay in the middle of the field.”
After Luplow’s blast, Banuelos (2-4, 6.67) struck out Carlos Gonzalez and then lost the strike zone completely. He walked three straight batters starting with Jake Bauers and uncorked a wild pitch to Tyler Naquin that skipped to the backstop and allowed Bauers to score from second for a 2-0 Indians advantage.
Manager Terry Francona said watching Luplow’s first home run sail into the seats was a welcome sight.
“Now that he has done it, I think it will do a world of good for his confidence,” Francona said. “He’s actually been more confident since he’s been back. You can even see it in his outfield play.”
Luplow sparked a three-run Tribe rally in the fifth with his second homer of the afternoon, a towering 424-foot shot to dead center against Banuelos. In eight games since being recalled from Triple-A on April 28, Luplow is hitting .333 with two doubles in 18 at-bats while slugging .778 with a 1.207 OPS.
Gonzalez followed with a single and Bauers doubled before Roberto Perez ripped a hard shot to third that got past Sox infielder Yoan Moncada for an RBI single. After a Naquin strikeout, Francisco Lindor sent a high fly ball to right that Charlie Tilson could not handle after slipping on the wet grass. The RBI double scored Bauers and put Cleveland in front, 5-0.
Jose Ramirez’s first-inning single against Banuelos extended his streak of reaching base to 18 consecutive games. Ramirez has an on-base percentage of .388 during that streak and has hit safely in 12 of the 18 games.
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