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Carlos Carrasco glanced briefly at his right elbow John Kelly Color Rush Jersey , which no longer shows any signs of bruising.
He’s healthy and the Cleveland Indians seem to be getting better and better.
Carrasco returned from the disabled list – and returned to the win column – as Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion drove in three runs apiece, leading the Indians to their fifth straight victory, 10-4 over the Oakland Athletics on Friday night.
Making his first start since getting smacked with a line drive hit by Minnesota’s Joe Mauer on June 16, Carrasco (9-5) shook off two homers measuring over 900 combined feet in the first two innings. The right-hander struck out seven in 5 1/3 innings and showed minimal rust despite the layoff.
”He gave up a couple of home runs,” said shortstop Francisco Lindor, who stole home and scored three times. ”But, he settled down. He started making pitches. He started attacking guys. Throwing that curveball for a strike. He’s one of the best. He’s very successful when he’s doing those things. I’m glad he’s back.”
The AL Central-leading Indians have won eight straight home games. They improved to an MLB-best 56-21 at Progressive Field since the All-Star break last season.
Matt Olson and Dustin Fowler connected against Carrasco, but A’s couldn’t match Cleveland’s firepower and lost for just the second time in 10 games since June 25.
”They’re a hot-hitting team and when they get on a roll, a lot of good things happen,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. ”Not only do they hit, they put pressure on you on the bases, as well. That’s why they’re as good as they are.”
Carrasco’s comeback didn’t start ideally as he was quickly in a 2-0 hole.
Fowler connected on his fourth pitch, driving it 467 feet into the lower seats in right for his sixth homer this season and first of his career leading off a game.
Olson opened the second inning with a 438-foot homer into the shrubs in center field, giving him 19 this season and 43 in 157 career games – the fifth-fastest pace in MLB history. Only Rudy York (51), Mark McGwire (49) Womens Travis Hamonic Jersey , Gary Sanchez (48) and Ryan Braun (47) have been more prodigious out of the gate than Olson.
But while he struggled to locate his fastball, Carrasco used his curve to keep the A’s off-balance.
Carrasco admitted being a little jittery on a ball hit toward him, but he’s now convinced the time off could help him in the long run.
”You don’t want to go to the DL, miss a couple weeks in there, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be worth it,” he said. ”From now to the last game of the season, I’m just going to go every five days, take care of myself, then we’ll see in the end.”
Oakland closed to 6-4 in the seventh and had the bases loaded with two out. But Neil Ramirez struck out A’s cleanup hitter Khris Davis to end the threat.
The Indians then put it away with four runs in the bottom half, highlighted by Lindor swiping home on the back end of a double steal. With one out, Ramirez broke for second and Lindor waited for catcher Jonathan’s Lucroy’s throw to go through before taking off and scoring with a headfirst slide.
”As soon as I become a runner, I’m trying to score,” Lindor said. ”As soon as I saw him (Lucroy) stand up and see the ball’s rotation, I just took off.”
Carrasco’s season nearly took a dramatic turn for the worst when he was struck by Mauer’s wicked comebacker. Luckily Troy Brouwer Jersey , he escaped with just a bad bruise and manager Terry Francona felt fortunate to have his No. 2 starter back.
”When I saw him, my eyes lit up,” Francona said before the game. ”He’s one of our mainstays.”
RUN, EDWIN, RUN
Encarnacion ignored third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh’s signal to stop and scored on Jason Kipnis‘ RBI single in the second.
It was his only option.
”I was coming hot,” the slugger said with a smile. ”Too late, I couldn’t stop.”
The Indians have scored 10 or more runs an AL-high 11 times this season.
Athletics: LHP Brett Anderson (strained shoulder) threw a pregame bullpen session and could be activated this weekend. The 30-year-old has been on the disabled list since May 19.
Indians: Francona said OF Lonnie Chisenhall will miss ”considerable time” with his strained left calf. He was placed on the disabled list Tuesday in Kansas City. Francona said the club should have a better sense of how long Chisenhall will be out once he is seen by team doctors.
Corey Kluber, who is 7-1 with a 1.60 ERA at home, tries to become the first Cleveland pitcher to win 13 games before the All-Star break since Gaylord Perry (15) in 1974. Oakland’s Edwin Jackson pitched into the seventh and beat the Indians on June 30.
MILWAUKEE — A little more than five years after he received a $500 bonus after signing as a non-drafted free agent out of Baylor University, Nate Orf is finally in the big leagues.
The Milwaukee Brewers selected Orf’s contract Monday from Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was batting .307 with six home runs and 38 RBIs. Those numbers landed him a spot in the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star team but also fueled a social media movement — #FreeNateOrf — amongst Brewers fans wanting the 28-year-old to get his shot.
“This is the day you put all the work in for,” Orf said. “I signed for $500. This is why I signed for $500, to grind out as long as I needed to have this day come.””
Orf made his debut Monday night in Milwaukee’s 6-5 victory over the Twins and will likely be in the lineup against Tuesday afternoon as the Brewers continue their three-game holiday series at Miller Park.
“He’s a good player. He’s a very good hitter,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He has earned this.”
The Brewers are hoping Orf can provide a spark at a position that’s been an offensive liability all season. Though Jonathan Villar has shown improvement after a dismal 2017 campaign, Brewers’ second basemen are seventh in the NL with a .676 OPS this season Ben Bishop Jersey , ninth with a .252 average and .299 on-base percentage.
Orf will also see time at shortstop, where Orlando Arcia had struggled to get into a rhythm since opening day and was demoted to Triple-A for the second time this season over the weekend.
“I still firmly believe that Orlando Arcia is going to be a very, very good player in this league for a long time,” general manager David Stearns said. “We have continued to see the defensive contributions he makes on a daily basis but we need to do better offensively.
“At this stage of the year, Orlando was not the type of offensive player we needed. I think we all bear some responsibility for that. As an organization, we need to help Orlando get through this.”
Looking to snap a three-game losing streak, the Brewers will turn to Junior Guerra on Tuesday. The right-hander won for the first time since May 14 his last time out despite allowing four runs over six innings against the Reds.
He struck out six in that outing and has 20 over his last three starts.
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi takes the mound for Minnesota hoping to build some momentum after getting back on track with six shutout innings of the White Sox in his last outing.
Odorizzi had a 3.34 ERA and was averaging nearly a strikeout per inning over his first 11 starts but stumbled mightily at the end of May, kick off a five-stark skid that saw him post a 9.74 ERA over the five stars leading up to his appearance in Chicago.
Extra work in the video room revealed a slight flaw in his delivery and during a bullpen session ahead of his last start, he worked on getting back to his normal mechanics.
“Pitching through a (back) injury last year created bad habits,” Odorizzi told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “It you do it for long enough, it creates an even worse habit, even when you’re healthy. Muscle memory takes over.”
Tuesday will mark Odorizzi’s third career start against the team that selected him in the first round (32nds overall) of the 2008 MLB Draft but the first time he’ll pitch at Miller Park.
He’s 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his two previous starts against Milwaukee and held the Brewers to a run on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out 10 back on May 20, but did not factor into the decision.