Carlos Carrasco came one out shy of throwing a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, allowing a single to Joey Butler with two outs in the ninth inning. The starting pitcher surrendered a line drive just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Jason Kipnis, as the Cleveland Indians went on to win 8-1.
Carrasco was taken out after his no-hit bid was broken up. In 8.2 innings, he allowed one hit, two walks and one earned run, while striking out 13 batters. Eleven of those 13 batters went down swinging, and Carrasco threw a career-high 124 pitches.
After Carrasco was so dominant for eight innings, the right-hander’s start to the ninth inning indicated that history might elude him. He led off the inning by walking Asdrubal Cabrera, and he hit Brandon Guyer with the next pitch. Following a groundout and a strikeout, Butler put the ball in play and ended Carrasco’s night.
"It's part of the game. I was excited. ... I started thinking about what I needed to do, throw my glove in the air or something," Carrasco said after the game. "It was great. I almost made it."
The start lowered Carrasco’s season ERA from 4.16 to 3.88, improving his record to 10-6. He now has 110 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP in 97.1 innings.
Wednesday wasn’t the first close call for a Cleveland starter this season. Trevor Bauer threw six innings of no-hit ball on April 9 against the Houston Astros, but a Jed Lowrie hit with one out in the ninth inning broke up what would’ve been a combined no hitter between four pitchers. On May 13, Corey Kluber lost his no-hitter after recording 17 outs, eventually ending his night with 18 strikeouts in eight innings.
Cleveland moves to 36-41 after the victory, and they trail the first-place Kansas City Royals by nine games in the division. The loss puts the Rays in a tie for third place in the American League East, though they trail the first-place Baltimore Orioles by just one game.
Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals have thrown the only two no-hitters of 2015. Both came within just 22 days of Wednesday’s game.