Pirates shut down again in 5-1 loss

After watching his team score one run for the second straight night, Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle was asked if he was contemplating any roster changes.

Hurdle showed he has a sense of humor, even after dropping a 5-1 decision to Cleveland for the second game in a row Saturday.

"If you can go out and get (Albert) Pujols and plug him into our lineup right now, give me a shout," he said. "That might be something we would look into."

Hurdle will have to make due with what he has.

Pittsburgh, which fell back to .500, has managed 10 hits in the first two games of the series. Hurdle believes patience, not massive roster changes, is the key at the moment.

"You always like to think your hitters are going to hit their way out of it," he said. "We have to battle through this."

The Pirates were shut down by Carlos Carrasco, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and won his third straight start. Carrasco (7-3) extended his scoreless streak to 21 1-3 innings before finishing up allowing one run and four hits in 6 1-3 innings.

The Pirates' only offense came in the seventh when Garrett Jones doubled and scored on a single by Lyle Overbay that cut Cleveland's lead to 3-1.

Jones is batting .417 with six RBIs in his last eight games.

Pittsburgh lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak and dropped to 0-12 in road interleague games since winning at Minnesota on June 17, 2009.

"We just have to come out (Sunday) and try to get a win here," Jones said.

Paul Maholm (3-8) gave up four runs and seven hits over 6 1-3 innings. The lefty had pitched shutout ball in three of his previous four starts.

"There were certain times it seemed like everything was working and there were certain times it seemed like nothing was working," Maholm said.

Orlando Cabrera hit a solo homer while Grady Sizemore scored two runs and drove in another for the Indians.

"He scratched and clawed all night," Hurdle said of Maholm. "He kept us in the game. There's no doubt about it."

Rookie Michael McKenry broke up Carrasco's no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the sixth off Cabrera's glove that the second baseman couldn't pick up cleanly as McKenry dove headfirst into the bag at first without a throw.

One out later, Jose Tabata singled off third baseman Jack Hannahan's glove — but Carrasco came back to strike out both Xavier Paul and Andrew McCutchen to end the threat.

"There's usually one spot when you have a chance to get back in the game," Hurdle said. "We had that moment. We had Xavier and Andrew coming up. They've both been swinging the bat pretty well. We weren't able to do anything with it."

Carrasco, a key piece of the trade that sent Cy Young winner Cliff Lee to Philadelphia in July 2009, threw first-pitch strikes to 17 of 24 batters faced. He struck out four and got 11 outs on ground balls as he earned his sixth win in seven starts since May 17.

"He's pitched very well his last three starts," Hurdle said. "We looked at tape on him. There were no surprises."

Carrasco had not allowed a run since June 2 against Texas. The right-hander then got consecutive 1-0 wins over Minnesota and the New York Yankees, allowing three hits over 8 1-3 innings to the Twins and five hits over seven innings on Monday night in New York.

Sizemore was hit by a pitch to open the Indians' first and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana. In the second, Austin Kearns hit a leadoff single and twice moved up on groundouts before Sizemore hit a double down the first-base line.

Cabrera's homer in the sixth made it 3-0.

Sizemore opened the seventh with a drive off the yellow line atop the center-field wall. He slid into third as fireworks went off — the traditional signal for a home run by the home team at Progressive Field. Sizemore scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley. Shin-Soo Choo added an RBI single off reliever Tony Watson later in the inning for a 5-1 lead.

NOTES: Pirates INF Pedro Alvarez (right quad strain) has begun limited baseball activities. ... RHP Stetson Allie, the Pirates' second-round pick in 2010, is scheduled to make his professional debut for Class A State College on Monday. Allie lives in the Cleveland suburb of Olmsted Falls. ... Pittsburgh has not been no-hit since St. Louis' Bob Gibson did it Aug. 14, 1971.