NEW YORK — Watching on the clubhouse TV at Yankee Stadium while Cleveland’s lead kept dwindling, Carlos Carrasco insisted he was totally confident.
“I thought we were OK,” he said. “I never think negatively.”
Carrasco struck out 11, Carlos Santana homered and the Indians stopped the New York Yankees once again, beating the AL East leaders 7-3 the night of Aug. 21.
The last-place Indians improved to 4-1 against New York this year. A night after holding off the Yankees 3-2, Cleveland remained the only sub-.500 team in the majors with a winning record on the road.
“They’ve given us trouble,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “I’ve said it always, the one thing about baseball, it doesn’t make sense.”
Carrasco (12-9) outpitched Masahiro Tanaka (9-6), giving up one run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Carrasco has permitted just six runs in his last five starts. Soon after he left with a 4-1 lead, the Yankees crept closer and closer.
“They were coming,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Alex Rodriguez bounced an RBI single in the eighth off Zach McAllister that made it 4-2. With two outs, second baseman Jose Ramirez let an easy grounder roll between his legs for an error that produced another run.
Closer Cody Allen retired Stephen Drew on a long fly with the bases loaded to end the inning, protecting a 4-3 lead.
“I trust my teammates, I trust my bullpen,” Carrasco said.
Allen finished for his career-high 25th save in 28 chances. On Aug. 20, he escaped his own ninth-inning jam for a save.
Michael Brantley hit his second RBI single of the game during a three-run ninth as Cleveland broke away. Santana beat out a double-play relay for the final run.
Santana lined his 14th home run, all left-handed by the switch-hitter, leading off the sixth against Tanaka for a 3-1 lead.
The homer came on the first pitch after catcher Brian McCann lunged into the stands for a foul popup, but had the ball glance off his glove — a fan in the front row held up a piece of paper, trying to shield his baby, and that seemed to tangle up McCann.
“Thank you for the baby,” Santana said.
The Indians took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when backup shortstop Brendan Ryan fumbled Francisco Lindor’s easy chopper over the mound with two outs and runners at the corners.
Ramirez tripled, singled twice and walked.
(BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer)