MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers avoided being shut out for the eighth time this season. If Brewers hitters were seeking positives in their performance against the Indians’ Carlos Carrasco on Wednesday, that was the extent of it.
Carrasco was as dominant as he was efficient in a complete-game five-hitter, logging 14 strikeouts in Cleveland’s 6-2 win over the Brewers at Miller Park. The Brewers settled for a two-game series split with their old AL Central rivals before hitting the road for Colorado, Arizona and Minnesota with a 21-16 record.
Carrasco (5-1) gave up five hits, walked one and threw 117 pitches. It was his 10th complete game in 149 big league starts.
“Early on, he looked a little sluggish, but he pitched his way into feeling good,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “As he got into the flow of the game, not only did he find his breaking ball, but he got some more power to his fastball.”
The Brewers fell to 4-9 in day games, among the worst in the major leagues. They are 17-7 in night games, tied with Arizona for the best winning percentage (.708) in the majors.
The Brewers are two games into a streak of 15 in a row against 2017 postseason teams.
“(Bench coach) Pat Murphy always says there are no Western Illinois on the schedule,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who once played for Murphy at Notre Dame. “I don’t mean to knock Western Illinois, (but) there’s no softballs on a major league schedule.
“... You take the series as they come, and you move on. The Indians are a really good baseball team, and we faced their two best pitchers and we got a split. The Rockies have been hot, and the Diamondbacks have been one of the better teams in baseball. It’s a challenging road trip for sure.”
A day after the Brewers beat Corey Kluber with a pair of home runs, including pitcher Brent Suter’s unlikely solo shot off the batter’s eye, Carrasco struck out 10 batters — some more than once — and had at least one strikeout in each of his first seven innings before retiring the Brewers in order without a whiff during a six-pitch eighth.
He singled home a run in the top of the ninth inning, then returned to the mound and completed the game on his 117th pitch.
“He got his slider going,” Counsell said. “It was sharp. Rarely in a bad spot. He was excellent.”
Carrasco finished nine of his strikeouts with his nasty slider, including eight swinging strikeouts on that pitch. Four of those came during one particularly dominant stretch in the third and fourth innings, when Carrasco struck out six straight batters.
“For the first three innings, I didn’t find myself,” Carrasco said. “I went back to the dugout and talked to (catcher) Roberto (Perez) and the pitching coach. … When I went out for the fourth, we got everything working.”
The Brewers’ only runs scored on Travis Shaw’s fielder’s choice groundout in the seventh inning and Jesus Aguilar’s sacrifice fly in the ninth.
“We were waiting to get to the ‘pen, but he was in total control from the get-go today,” Shaw said.
Milwaukee’s scoring average slipped to 3.68 runs per game, 28th in the majors and better only than the Marlins among NL clubs.
Brewers starter Junior Guerra set a season high for a Milwaukee pitcher with nine strikeouts, but he was burned by a four-batter sequence in the fourth inning.
Jose Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Yonder Alonso and Tyler Naquin started the frame with successive hits — three for extra-bases, including Naquin’s three-run home run off a hanging split-fingered fastball for a 4-0 Indians lead.
That flurry represented the only damage against Guerra, who surrendered two other hits plus two walks in five innings en route to losing his third straight start.
“They got a little rally going, and he hung a split with guys on base,” Counsell said. “He throws that pitch with nobody on base, and maybe that’s a one-run inning and we’re right in the game.
“Naquin got him with some guys on base. But Junior threw the ball well. It’s one bad pitch that cost him.”
Miley, Franklin to DL
Left-hander Wade Miley was put on the disabled list. He left Tuesday night’s game with a strained right oblique.
The Brewers also placed infielder Nick Franklin on the 10-day DL with a strained quad and recalled infielder Tyler Saladino from Class AAA Colorado Springs.
Franklin, who had just joined the club prior to Tuesday night’s game after his contract was selected from Class AA Biloxi, was scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday. Saladino was acquired from the Chicago White Sox last month.
• Left-hander Boone Logan, who has been on the DL with a left triceps injury since the start of the season, is expected to be activated this weekend.
Jhoulys Chacin (2-1, 4.08 ERA) takes the mound as Milwaukee opens a four-game series at Colorado on Thursday. Chacin, who pitched for the Rockies from 2009-14, is 1-1 in three career starts against his former squad.
Colorado will throw right-hander German Marquez (2-3, 4.76).