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Carlos Carrasco holds Mariners in check as Seattle’s losing streak hits six

UPDATED: Wed., April 17, 2019, 10:13 p.m.

Cleveland’s Jake Bauers, right, is congratulated by third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh after Bauers’ solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning Wednesday in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Cleveland’s Jake Bauers, right, is congratulated by third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh after Bauers’ solo home run against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning Wednesday in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
By Tim Booth Associated Press

SEATTLE – After one of the worst starts of his career, Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco spent several days trying to find a solution.

All it took was Carrasco picking up his tempo and believing in what he was throwing.

“The last game I didn’t have that. That’s what I worked on the last four days, just to get to this game,” Carrasco said. “I always say that I just want to throw with conviction. But I didn’t do that in my last game.”

Carrasco rebounded from that miserable outing with 12 strikeouts in seven innings, Jake Bauers hit a solo homer and the Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.

Carrasco (2-2) pitched three-hit ball, dominating as the Indians handed Seattle its sixth straight loss. He struck out the side three times and only allowed one baserunner to reach third base. The 12 strikeouts were the most for Carrasco since he struck out 14 last September against Toronto.

It was a drastic turnaround after his last start, when Carrasco got just two outs, allowing six hits and six earned runs against Kansas City. It was the shortest outing of his career that wasn’t cut short by injury.

The Mariners ended their 20-game home run streak, a record to open a season. Seattle appeared to make it to 21 games in the third, when Ryon Healy hit a line drive down the left-field line that was initially ruled a homer. It was overturned to a foul ball via replay, and Healy struck out.

Seattle’s only hits were doubles by Mallex Smith and Domingo Santana and a single by Edwin Encarnacion. Santana reached third base with two outs in the sixth after a wild pitch but was stranded there as Jay Bruce struck out for a third time.

Seattle right-hander Erik Swanson surpassed the expectations of manager Scott Servais in his first big-league start. Servais hoped to get five innings out of Swanson (0-1), but the rookie nearly matched Carrasco.

“It was a good step in the right direction, for sure,” said Swanson, who allowed two hits over six innings, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.

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