Santana homers, Carrasco pitches Indians over A's 1-0
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) A well-rested Carlos Carrasco and one big swing from Carlos Santana was all it took to get the Indians off to a good start on their road trip.
It's a combination manager Terry Francona expects to be a big part of Cleveland's postseason push.
Carrasco and Andrew Miller combined on a four-hitter, Santana homered in the eighth inning and the Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 1-0 on Monday night.
''Right now I feel fresh,'' said Carrasco, who spent more than five weeks on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. ''It's going to be really important that I get back on the same level everyone else is. These last five, six weeks are going to be important for us.''
Carrasco (9-6) was masterful while limiting the A's to four hits over eight innings. The right-hander had nine strikeouts, retired the side in order five times and allowed only one runner to reach second base.
Carrasco has had at least eight strikeouts in his last four starts, the longest active streak in the majors.
''He was terrific,'' Francona said. ''Everybody else probably has 40 more innings than him but you can tell his tank is not anywhere close to empty.''
Miller struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save.
Neither team did much offensively until Santana's one-out home run off reliever Ryan Dull (5-4), his 27th of the season to match a career high.
''I hit a fastball,'' Santana said. ''He tried to throw middle away and the fastball stayed in the middle.''
A's starter Andrew Triggs matched Carrasco in his fourth career start but did not factor in the decision. Triggs allowed three hits over six scoreless innings and matched his career high of six strikeouts.
Oakland is 1-21 when Triggs pitches this season, including 0-4 in four starts. Triggs is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA.
''You feel for him because he's such a good soldier about going up and down and appreciates the opportunity he gets,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said. ''You can't help but pull for a guy who's a great team guy and he performed. He's performing even better in the rotation right now.''
The loss dropped the A's a season-high 19 games under .500 at 53-72. It's the team's worst record after 125 games since 1997.
Earlier in the day, Oakland announced it had fined Danny Valencia and Billy Butler after they engaged in a clubhouse fight last week.
OH SO CLOSE
Oakland missed a chance to end the shutout when Coco Crisp was thrown out at third trying to extend a double in the sixth. That was costly, as the A's next two batters reached base on a single and an error.
''It's probably one of those where if they call him safe they don't overturn it either way,'' Francona said.
Jose Ramirez went hitless in four at-bats, ending his streak of successfully reaching base at 27 games. It was the longest active streak in the majors.
Indians: Yan Gomes (separated right shoulder) played catch from 105 feet before the game and is taking batting practice in the cage. The team is hopeful the catcher can return before the end of the regular season and confident he'll be available for the postseason if the Indians make it that far.
Athletics: Butler was placed on the seven-day concussion list. Valencia struck out looking as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. ... Shortstop Marcus Semien was not with the team after leaving to be with his wife for their birth of their child. It marked only the fourth game this season that Semien hasn't been in the starting lineup. ... Infielder Arismendy Alcantara was called up from Triple-A Nashville.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (11-4) faces Oakland on Tuesday in his second start since coming off the disabled list. Salazar won in both of his previous two starts against the A's.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (4-8) makes his first career appearance against the Indians. Manaea leads all AL rookie pitchers with 92 strikeouts.