Lapses in command can come back to haunt a pitcher.
For Mike Bolsinger, eight consecutive balls ended up costing him a pair of runs as the Indians topped the Blue Jays 6-0 on Tuesday evening at the Rogers Centre. Three of the Tribe’s six runs came from runners who reached via walk or hit by pitch in a game defined by opportunistic hitting.
Lonnie Chisenhall and Francisco Lindor knocked in the first trio of runs before Yan Gomes launched his second home run of the season to support another stellar outing from Carlos Carrasco.
Carrasco goes two over the minimum
It was another day at the office for Carrasco as he registered his seventh straight quality straight and retired every batter he faced besides Ezequiel Carrera (single), Darwin Barney (single) and Jose Bautista (single).
“I thought Carrasco was tremendous,” said manager Terry Francona to reporters. “They have to respect his velocity. With the feel he has for his breaking ball, you’re going to get some chase.”
Carrasco hit a point where he retired 13 hitters in a row before Bautista ripped a base knock up the middle. None of the Toronto batters advanced past second base in the contest.
“That’s the Cookie that we know,” Gomes said. “He’s probably one of the most talented starters we’ve had. He’s kind of coming to his own and he’s learning how to use all his pitches. It’s been fun catching him.”
Once again, the right-hander matched the production of Corey Kluber (lower back strain) with ease – 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K (97 pitches, 64 strikes, 66%, eight groundouts, five flyouts).
“He’s obviously pitching with a lot of confidence and he should,” said Francona. “He is in a good place.”
Converting walks to runs
Chisenhall laced a two-run double to left-center field after Bolsinger issued a pair of walks to start the second inning.
The remaining contributions came in the form of Lindor’s ground-rule double in the seventh and Gomes’ three-run blast in the eighth to yield a 6-0 advantage.
“He’s been back to being more like Gomer,” Francona said. “That’s really good to see.”
Miller and Goody punctuate victory
With Carrasco at 97 pitches and a six-run lead posted on the scoreboard, Francona decided to employ Andrew Miller and Nick Goody for scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth respectively.
“We’ve had a road trip where we really as a club haven’t been swinging it,” said Francona. “We’re surviving this trip. It’s not like we’re where we want. But when we get guys going, it’s really going to help.”
The series finale is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:07 p.m. ET from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.
RHP Danny Salazar (2-3, 4.28) will look to even his record and work deeper into the game as he only pitched into the seventh inning on April 29 against the Mariners during his six starts in 2017.
LHP Francisco Liriano (2-2, 4.44) has rebounded nicely from a disastrous first appearance that entailed five earned runs on three hits and four walks in .1 innings of work. The 33-year-old last faced the Indians on August 19 when he hurled six innings and allowed one unearned run.