DETROIT (AP) — When Carlos Carrasco shrugged off a rising pitch count and went back to the mound in the ninth inning, teammate Francisco Lindor was impressed.
“I was tired in the fifth,” Lindor said.
Carrasco and Lindor led the Cleveland Indians to their eighth straight win Saturday, when Carrasco pitched a four-hitter and Lindor hit two home runs in a 6-0 win over Detroit. It was the first career multihomer game for the 22-year-old Lindor, and Carrasco’s third major league shutout.
Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes also went deep for AL Central-leading Cleveland, which improved to 8-0 against the Tigers this year, outscoring them 51-17.
The Indians spoiled Anibal Sanchez’s return to the Detroit rotation. The right-hander allowed a homer to Santana on the game’s second pitch, and Lindor added another solo shot one out later.
Carrasco (3-2) struck out seven and walked one. He threw a season-high 117 pitches in his first shutout of the year.
Sanchez (4-8) made his first start since May 31 after being demoted to the bullpen for a bit. He allowed four runs and five hits in five innings.
“I tried to pitch backward in the first inning and use my offspeed pitches to set things up, but they were waiting on them, so it didn’t work,” Sanchez said. “My fastball was good and my location was good. I just tried to pitch backward and they were waiting on my slow pitches. In my next start, I will have a different strategy.”
Santana opened the scoring with his 16th homer of the season, a drive down the right-field line. Lindor’s homer later in the first cleared the wall in the same area near the foul pole.
Rajai Davis made it 3-0 with an RBI single in the second, and Sanchez allowed another run in the third before finishing his outing with perfect innings in the fourth and fifth.
“He got a couple pitches up early, and they hit him, but I was encouraged by the way he responded,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “He finished with some nice innings.”
Lindor’s second homer came in the eighth — again down the line in right. He now has 10 home runs on the season.
Gomes hit a solo shot in the ninth.
Carrasco never allowed more than one baserunner in an inning, and he retired 11 in a row before Miguel Cabrera’s one-out single in the ninth.
“Right from the get-go, right from the first inning, he’s throwing 92-93 mile an hour split,” said Gomes, Cleveland’s catcher. “He gained his confidence early in the ballgame.”
BACK IN A GROOVE
Carrasco missed over a month because of a left hamstring strain before returning June 2. This was his fifth start back.
“I feel strong. I start doing my shoulder exercise,” he said. “It took me three starts to get back my normal routine.”
Carrasco’s longest previous start this year was eight innings on April 13.
IN A RUT
In the sixth and seventh innings, all six Detroit hitters grounded out to third baseman Jose Ramirez.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis left the game in the seventh with what was announced as an illness. ... RHP Craig Stammen (right forearm surgery) started for the Arizona League Indians on Friday, pitching one inning.
Tigers: OF Steven Moya (knee) did not play.
Indians: Josh Tomlin (8-1) takes the mound Sunday when Cleveland tries for a three-game sweep against the Tigers. The right-hander has allowed only seven walks this season.
Tigers: Justin Verlander (7-5) tries for his 12th quality start of the year. He’s struck out 69 in 65 1/3 innings since May 8, and opponents are hitting .190 off him in that span.
Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister