Carrasco's return to form strengthens deep staff

Complete game the culmination of righty's battle back from hamstring strain

Carrasco's return to form strengthens deep staff

DETROIT -- Heading into his start Saturday at Comerica Park, Carlos Carrasco was still trying to get back on the right track after returning from a strained hamstring earlier this month.

And he did so in a big way, throwing his seventh career complete game, and third shutout, as the Indians beat the Tigers, 6-0, for their eighth straight win.

In the past four games, the Indians' pitching staff has three complete games and two shutouts.

Carrasco's four-hit shutout

Cleveland's starting pitchers have supported each other by watching each other during bullpen sessions. Carrasco said his performance Saturday was indicative of the rotation really starting to mesh.

"Everything that we're working on in the bullpen, we're bringing into the game," he said. "We've got a little bit of competition between us. 'OK, so [Corey] Kluber and [Trevor] Bauer had a complete game, let's do that, just try to put zeros on the board and try to go deep in the game.'"

In his fifth start back from the DL, Carrasco said going the distance on Saturday marked his return to form since the injury, which he suffered in Detroit in April.

"I felt that the first three games, I still felt a little bit off, but now I'm working and improving every day and I feel better," Carrasco said.

Manager Terry Francona said the way Carrasco made his return known was especially impressive against a powerful Tigers lineup.

Catcher Yan Gomes said it was without a doubt Carrasco's best outing of the season, and he thinks that Carrasco's return will help the staff as a whole.

"Today, it was right from the get-go, he's throwing 92-, 93-mph splitters, and I'm thinking, 'Either I'm going to have a tough time catching, or they're going to have a tough time hitting,'" Gomes said. "He gained his confidence early in the ballgame, and then just took it."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.