Carlos Carrasco became the first Indians pitcher since at least 1908 to strike out 12 over five innings and Cleveland beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Saturday.
Carrasco (1-1) was overpowering a week after struggling in his first start of the season. The right-hander completed his 23rd double-figure strikeout game, holding the Blue Jays scoreless until the fifth.
Freddy Galvis hit a one-out homer and Randal Grichuk had an RBI double with two away. With the trying run at the plate, Carrasco struck out Rowdy Tellez on his 90th and final pitch.
Jake Bauers’ two-run single with the bases loaded was the key hit in the third when Cleveland scored three times. Carlos Santana, Hanley Ramirez and Roberto Perez also drove in runs.
Thomas Pannone (0-2) allowed four runs in 2 2/3 innings, though he also struck out six.
The Indians have won three straight and are 4-1 on their opening homestand. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield watched from a suite and got the crowd going with a pre-recorded “Let’s Go Tribe” chant on the video board that was shown midway through the game. The fans later chanted Mayfield’s name.
Another big cheer went up when a fan ran onto the field and delayed the game. The fan slowly jogged across the field and was approached by security guards near the left field line. The fan put on a move but fell to the ground and was escorted away.
Toronto has been held to two runs or fewer in seven of 10 games this season, including all three in this series against Cleveland. Trevor Bauer pitched seven hitless innings Thursday and Shane Bieber allowed two runs in six innings Friday.
Santana, whose ninth-inning home run gave Cleveland a 3-2 win Friday, had an RBI single in the first.
Rookie shortstop Eric Stamets doubled leading off the third for his first major league hit. He was 0 for 16 to begin his career. Ramirez drew a bases-loaded walk and Bauers followed with a single.
Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak returned after being a late scratch from the lineup Thursday and Friday. He had a first-inning double in five at-bats.
Indians: SS Francisco Lindor continues to do rehab work on his injuries (strained right calf/sprained left ankle). “He’s getting a little friskier every day, which is good,” manager Terry Francona said. No specific date has been given for Lindor’s return.
Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (0-1, 1.42 ERA) takes the mound in the four-game series finale. Indians RHP Mike Clevinger (0-0, 0.00 ERA) struck out a career-high 12 over seven innings in a no-decision against the Chicago White Sox on April 1.