Zach McAllister and Michael Brantley Lead the Cleveland Indians
In his first start since being named to the starting rotation, Zach McAllister once again proved why he was the right man for the job. In the Cleveland Indians 4-3 victory over the Reds on Thursday, McAllister pitched 6.1 strong innings allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out four. It’s exactly the type of outing the Indians will need out of McAllister on a regular basis once the season gets going, and he knows it.
After the game, McAllister had the following to say to Indians.com beat writer, Mark Sheldon:
"“I’m excited,” McAllister said after his final outing of the spring. “I think I accomplished a lot of the things that I wanted to in spring so far. I’m looking forward to getting started.”"
Also making a major contribution in Thursday’s victory was all-star left fielder, Michael Brantley. With the game tied at two in the top of the seventh, Brantley blasted a two run home run to right field that put the Indians up 4-2 and proved to be the game winner. The home run was the first of the spring for Brantley. Better late than never, I suppose.
In addition to belting his first home run of the spring, Brantley also got the opportunity to take part in a truly special moment. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Terry Francona wanted to make a pitching change. Instead of making his way out to the mound, he sent Brantley. The reason? The pitcher coming on in relief ended up being Michael Brantley’s cousin, Justin Brantley. There was no video available from the game, but both Brantley’s along with Francona, took the opportunity to talk about it afterwards.
In addition to McAllister and Brantley squared, Roberto Perez and Ryan Rohlinger also made offensive contributions. Perez drove in a run in the top of the fourth on a single to right. Rohlinger homered in the top of the fifth off of Mike Leake, who also had a solid day on the mound working five innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with two walks and a strikeout.
The Tribe will continue to wind down their Cactus League schedule when the take on the Brewers Friday afternoon. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:05 and will see Carlos Carrasco take the mound for his final start of the spring.