Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Indians hold on for 4-3 win at Texas, clinch opening series

Carlos Carrasco is over the broken bone in his hand that forced him to miss the playoffs with the AL champion Cleveland Indians.
Carrasco stuck out seven and pitched into the sixth inning in his first start since taking a liner off his right hand last September, and the Indians held on for a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
"It's something in the past, I got it last year, so this year is a new year," Carrasco said. "Feel pretty good for myself, with my body, with my arm. Everything's fine."
Carrasco (1-0), who had some elbow discomfort this spring, allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Andrew Miller pitched a perfect eighth inning and Cody Allen got another save by striking out the side for the second night in a row against the two-time defending AL West champions.
After consecutive doubles by Nomar Mazara and Mike Napoli to start a 25-pitch ninth inning, Allen struck out Rougned Odor, pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo. In the opener, Allen struck out the side around a triple by Elvis Andrus.
"Cody threw the ball really well, just maybe too many strikes," Indians manager Terry Francona said "But you could tell what kind of stuff he had because after those first two hits. ... There was no wiggle room, and he didn't need it."
Carlos Santana started the game with his sixth career leadoff homer , and then followed Austin Jackson's two-out RBI single with one of his own in the second for a 3-0 lead against Martin Perez (0-1).
That was it for the Indians against Perez, who allowed five hits and walked four in six innings.
"It was encouraging to see him settle down. Obviously we're getting to a point where it's time to put that together throughout an entire game," manager Jeff Banister said.
Michael Brantley added two-out RBI single for the Indians in the seventh, when Texas used three relievers.
Texas closed to 3-2 in the second when Gallo hit a two-run homer deep into the second deck of seats in right field. The young slugger, playing third base with Adrian Beltre on the disabled list, is 3 for 32 with two homers and 23 strikeouts since the start of last season.
Gallo's homer accounted for the only runs against Carrasco, who yielded four hits and walked one while throwing 78 pitches.
"After he gave up that home run that might still be going, he settled down, he threw strikes," Francona said. "He threw some really good off-speed, made some big pitches."
TRAINER'S ROOM
Indians: OF Lonnie Chisenhall (right shoulder sprain) is to join Triple-A Columbus, where he is scheduled to DH on Friday and play the outfield on Saturday.
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross threw a bullpen and could pitch in a minor league game this weekend. Ross is recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last October. ... Beltre (right calf tightness) likely will hit Wednesday when RHP Andrew Cashner (right biceps) is scheduled to throw a simulated game.
DEFENSIVE GEMS
Texas SS Elvis Andrus started a double play with a diving stop to his left on a grounder by Jose Ramirez in the third. While still on the ground, Andrus scooped the ball from his glove to Odor, who with a barehanded grab and made the relay throw to first. ... Texas leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez had two potential hits taken away - RF Brandon Guyer made a running and lunging catch in the first; and 2B Ramirez ran a long way and reached to catch a popup in shallow right field in the eighth.
HOLD ON TO THE BAG
Cleveland had two runners thrown out when they couldn't hold on to the bag. Francisco Lindor was initially called safe on a stolen base attempt in the first, but after a replay challenge he was called out for losing contact of the base for only a split second while Andrus held the tag. Ramirez was out in the sixth after he slid past third base.
UP NEXT
Indians: Danny Salazar makes his first start of the season after a major league-leading 37 strikeouts in spring training.
Rangers: Lefty Cole Hamels, 15-5 last year, allowed only two hits in eight scoreless innings last August against Cleveland with eight strikeout and no walks.

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