CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – A three-run first inning by Cleveland was more than enough support for Carlos Carrasco to settle in and stymie the Miami Marlins bats in the series opener at Progressive Field.
Carrasco rebounded from a poor effort in his previous outing vs. Texas, tossing 7 1/3 scoreless innings in the Indians’ 6-2 win on Friday night.
The righty scattered six hits and walking just one.
“My last start, I only went four innings and gave up seven runs,” Carrasco said. “I was disappointed a little bit in myself with the way I pitched. I just went for five days working hard and tried to get my mind back, the same way I started the year, the same way that I did last year. That’s what I did.”
Carrasco struck out 11 batters in the ballgame, the 10th double-digit strikeout game of his career and third of the season.
Friday’s performance lowered his season ERA to 3.06.
“I think Carlos has been through it enough now where he understands that a good solid work week will lead up to him being able to enjoy his outing, kind of like he did,” manager Terry Francona said. “I thought he had a good week of work and then he pitched really well tonight.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Cashner was the first right-handed starter Cleveland has faced since last Saturday and just the third righty to start against the Indians over the past nine games. He gave up six runs on six hits in five innings, walking six and striking out six.
The Indians benefited from a first-inning close call, when third base umpire Andy Fletcher ruled that Jason Kipnis checked his swing on a ball out of the zone. Instead of a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play, Cleveland had two on and no one out in the first frame against Cashner.
That would open the door for the Tribe to pick up three runs in the first inning, scoring on a Mike Napoli bases-loaded walk and RBI groundouts by Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall.
“It’s very important [to take advantage of close calls],” Kipnis said. “It’s the first inning, you want to get out to a good start. Cashner is a good pitcher. We have to get as many runs as we can off him. As an offense, you will take what’s given to you no matter what the shape of form it comes in and you move on and keep going.”
Francisco Lindor (six-game hitting streak), Tyler Naquin and Abraham Almonte (seven-game hitting streak) each contributed a pair of hits.
Almonte drove in a couple with a two-run double in the fifth inning, his second double of the night. Carlos Santana also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and walked three times.
Miami’s runs came on an eighth-inning two-run homer by J.T. Realmuto off Indians reliever Jeff Manship.
Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth for Cleveland, who is now 4-0 on their current 10-game homestand.
The Indians will continue their three-game series with the Marlins on Saturday night at Progressive Field. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
• Miami: RHP Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.79) vs. Cleveland: RHP Trevor Bauer (9-6, 3.73)