Reaction: Cleveland Indians’ Offense Explodes Behind Carrasco’s Strong Start

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Cleveland Indians starter Carlos Carrasco held the Rangers to just one run over eight innings, but it was the Tribe’s offense that blasted their way to a 12-3 win over Texas on Wednesday afternoon. Carrasco gave up just five hits and one walk, with eight strikeouts, which was far better than Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis, who allowed 10 runs, including one unearned run, on 11 hits and a walk with just two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work. The Rangers’ bullpen didn’t fair much better, giving the Tribe a high-scoring victory. 

Key Moments
Second Inning
After a relatively uneventful first inning, the Indians got things started in the second inning. Nick Swisher led off with a solo shot to right center field, giving the Tribe a 1-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a single, and Mike Aviles reached on a fielder’s choice and an error, before scoring on a line drive off of the bat of Michael Bourn.

Third Inning
Colby Lewis will likely have nightmares about how badly things went for the Rangers in the third inning. A leadoff walk from Carlos Santana was followed by a double off of the bat of Michael Brantley. David Murphy hit an RBI single to left field, and Chisenhall launched a one-out RBI double to right. With two down, Chisenhall scored on a hit by Bourn, who in turn scored on a Roberto Perez single. Jason Kipnis kept things going with a double, and the Tribe capped off the inning with Santana’s three-run home run, batting around and chasing Lewis from the game.

Lonnie Chisenhall launched a long home run in the fourth inning to make it 11-0 in favor of the Tribe. Robinson Chirinos homered for the Rangers in the top of the fifth inning, but the Indians tacked on yet another run in response, when Kipnis tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Brantley in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff single by Shin-Soo Choo in the ninth inning proved to be a problem, as Leonys Martin homered two batters later, sending a one-out, two-run shot over the right-center field wall.

The Positives
Chisenhall’s bat, which has been fairly quiet as of late, made plenty of noise on Wednesday as he went 3-for-5 and fell a triple short of a cycle. Kipnis missed a cycle of his own by a home run, as he also went 3-for-5. Everyone’s bats were on fire, with each player in the starting lineup getting at least one hit and scoring once. Carrasco’s great performance on the mound was totally overshadowed, but he probably didn’t mind picking up such an easy win.

The Negatives
There really shouldn’t be any negatives when the Tribe wins a 12-3 game, but if absolutely forced to choose, it would be Scott Atchison‘s mistakes in the ninth inning. Did giving up a hit and a home run hurt in this game? No, but it’s a continuation of the bullpen problems that have plagued the team all season long.

More from Away Back Gone

Check It Out
– On Thursday, the Tribe will head to Seattle to take on the Mariners, where Corey Kluber will find himself dueling with James Paxton. This could be a challenge for the Indians, who have played poorly against left-handers this year, and Paxton is an above-average pitcher. So far this season, he’s 3-2 with a 3.52 record, including 41 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched.

– Kluber is beginning to fill up the leaderboards again. His strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate is the second-best in the AL (fun fact: Danny Salazar‘s is the best, and Carrasco’s is third) and he’s leading the league in punch outs, with 83. He also has a 2.19 FIP, which is the best in the American league, and means he should be winning a lot more games than his 2-5 record or 3.49 ERA would imply.

Next: Ryan Webb Should Be the Indians' New Setup Man

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