Carrasco and Bauer stifle Royals’ bats in Indians’ 2-1 win


By Marc Bowman - Associated Press



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer combined for a five-hitter, Francisco Lindor homered and scored twice, and the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 2-1 on Sunday.

Carrasco (16-10) was working with a limited pitch count in a tuneup before an anticipated start in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against Houston on Saturday. He went five innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking two and striking out six.

Carrasco finished the season with a 3.38 ERA.

Bauer took over in the sixth, hurling four scoreless innings of relief while striking out two for his first career save.

Bauer ended the season with a 2.21 ERA, second in the American League to Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell.

Carrasco struck out 231 on the year, leading the Indians. Bauer struck out 221.

The Indians opened the scoring after Lindor led off the game by reaching on an error when Eric Skoglund (1-5) fumbled his grounder. After stealing second, Lindor then stole third and scored when Alcides Escobar failed to catch the throw to third for the second error of the inning.

Lindor drilled a 1-0 pitch into the stands in left-center field to lead off the third, extending the Indians’ lead to 2-0. He hit seven of his 38 homers this year against the Royals.

The Indians finished the season 91-71, their sixth straight year above .500. It is their longest streak since they had winning records eight years in a row from 1994 through 2001.

Skoglund allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks, striking out three over five innings.

The Royals got on the board in the fifth when Brian Goodwin led off with a hit and stole second, then scored on Meibrys Viloria’s single.

Whit Merrifield closed the season with a single in the eighth, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games. The streak was also the longest of the year in the majors.

Merrifield finished the season with 192 hits and 45 stolen bases, leading the majors in both categories.

Kansas City’s attendance fell by 555,213 from the previous year — nearly 7,000 per game — and finished at 1,665,107, its lowest since 2010. The club stumbled to its worst season since 2005, when it set a team record for most losses at 106. The 104 losses this year matched the 2004 team for the second-worst record in franchise history. This was the fifth time the club lost at least 100 games.

Manager Ned Yost will be back in 2019, however. The Royals announced a one-year extension before the game.

Wild pitch costs Reds

CINCINNATI (AP) — Pablo Reyes scored on Jackson Stephens’ wild pitch in the top of the 10th inning Sunday, rallying the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds finished 67-95, their fourth straight season with at least 90 losses — the second-worst stretch in franchise history. Their first item in the offseason is choosing a next manager.

Bryan Price was fired after a 3-15 start, and the Reds went 64-80 under interim manager Jim Riggleman. He’ll be interviewed Monday, and the Reds plan to pick a manager by the end of the month. Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin has told the team he isn’t interested at this time.

The Reds were one of a record eight major league teams to finish with at least 95 losses this year. There were seven in 2002.

Starling Marte and Josh Bell homered for the Pirates, who finished 82-79 — their most wins since they last made the playoffs in 2015. They head into next season with a solid rotation and bullpen, their best hopes for getting back into contention in the NL Central.

Reyes doubled off Stephens (2-3), advanced on an error and scored on the wild pitch. Michael Feliz (1-2) pitched the ninth, and Felipe Vazquez got his 37th save in 42 chances.

Clint Hurdle got his 1,200th career win as a major league manager. Bruce Bochy, Buck Showalter and Terry Francona are the other active managers with that many. Mike Scioscia was on that list as well, but he stepped down as Angels manager Sunday.

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By Marc Bowman

Associated Press

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