NEW YORK — Asked what pitch worked best against the New York Yankees, Carlos Carrasco gave a most obvious answer.
“Everything,” he said.
Same goes for most everyone the Cleveland Indians are putting on the mound lately.
Carrasco rejoined the Cleveland rotation in fine fashion by throwing five scoreless innings and the Indians nearly tossed another shutout at Yankee Stadium in a 4-1 win Sunday.
Jacoby Ellsbury homered with two outs in the ninth off Indians closer Cody Allen, ending New York’s season-worst scoreless streak at 19 innings. The shot let the Yankees avoid a dubious distinction — not since 1999 had they been blanked in two straight games, STATS said.
“That was a really fun day to watch,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Everyone came in and did their job.”
Jason Kipnis got three hits and scored three runs as the Indians finished 4-3 against their fellow AL wild-card contender — only twice in the last 22 years has Cleveland taken the season matchup.
A day after Cleveland pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout and struck out 15 Yankees, Carrasco (4-4) and four relievers dominated with another five-hitter.
“When you play the Yankees, you feel it in your body,” he said. “You want to throw a shutout.”
Carrasco allowed just two singles, walked none, struck out four and retired his last 11 batters. Pitching in place of the recently demoted Danny Salazar, Carrasco made his first start since being banished to the bullpen in late April.
Carrasco had gone 0-12 in 17 starts since 2011 — shortly before his last win, he pitched seven scoreless innings at Yankee Stadium. He missed the 2012 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The right-hander threw from the stretch all game, firing a 96 mph with his first pitch, and met catcher Yan Gomes for hand slaps and back pats outside the dugout after the final out in the fifth.
The Indians’ longest shutout streak of the season left Yankees manager Joe Girardi without a guess on what went wrong.
“Not really sure,” he said. “We just didn’t swing the bats very well today.”
Cleveland evened its record at 59-59 by taking advantage of a surprisingly shaky Hiroki Kuroda (7-8). Normally one of baseball’s best control pitchers, he walked a season-high four, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.
Kuroda issued his first bases-loaded walk since he was a major league rookie in 2008, STATS said. Gomes drew that walk for a 3-0 lead in the fifth and added an RBI single in the seventh.
Michael Brantley drove in Cleveland’s first two runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.
Indians: OF David Murphy (oblique) and DH-1B Nick Swisher (knee) went on the 15-day disabled list and OF Tyler Holt and INF-OF Zach Walters were promoted from Triple-A Columbus. Walters, acquired July 31 in the trade that sent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to Washington, started in left field in his Cleveland debut.
Walters went 0 for 3 with a walk and had little action in the outfield as the Indians pitchers stayed in control. “I picked some good daisies out there,” he said.
Yankees: 1B Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup after missing three straight games because of an injured left pinkie. He went 1 for 4.
Indians: In a scheduling quirk, Cleveland gets three off-days in the next eight days. The Indians host Arizona starting Tuesday night, with LHP T.J. House (1-3, 4.13) facing Diamondbacks RHP Josh Collmenter (8-6, 4.09). House has allowed three or fewer runs in seven straight starts.
Yankees: LHP Chris Capuano (1-2, 3.91) starts Monday night at Camden Yards as New York begins a six-game trip to AL East-leading Baltimore and division rival Tampa Bay. Capuano has pitched well since being acquired from Colorado last month, yet is winless in his last nine starts overall.
Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 30th base, swiping second without a throw after a single in the Yankees first. He led the majors with 52 steals last year for Boston, and is a three-time AL stolen base champ.
WALK THIS WAY
Indians 1B Carlos Santana drew his majors-leading 82nd walk. He became the 22nd player in big league history to walk 400 times in his first five seasons, and the first since both Albert Pujols and Adam Dunn did it in 2005.
Walters had a signed Derek Jeter jersey hanging in his locker after the game. Walters walked nine blocks — “those blocks are really long here,” he said — on Saturday night to buy the souvenir at a store, then got it autographed Sunday by the Yankees star he called “an idol.”