Long-time Cleveland Indians pitching prospect Tristan McKenzie put together a dominant MLB Debut Saturday as he helped lead the Tribe past the Tigers.
In his long awaited MLB debut, Cleveland Indians right-hander Triston McKenzie showed why he was once ranked among the top 25 prospects in baseball as he struck out 10 Tigers and led Cleveland to a 6-1 victory.
McKenzie’s lone mistake came in the top of the fourth inning as Willi Castro hit a solo home run off the Indians rookie to put Detroit up 1-0.
This wouldn’t phase the 23-year old New York City native as he finished the night after six innings of work that saw him strike out 10 Tigers, allowed just two hits and walk only one batter. With his 10 strikeouts, he became the first Indian since Luis Tiant in 1964 to record double-digit punch outs in his MLB debut.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Indians finally provided McKenzie with run support as Domingo Santana ripped a clutch two-out double with the bases loaded to put Cleveland ahead 3-1 and was later driven in by a Roberto Perez single pushing the lead to 4-1.
Cleveland would add another run in the bottom of the seventh as Carlos Santana plated Cesar Hernandez with a sac-fly to push the lead to 5-1 and in the bottom of the eighth pushed the lead to 6-1 with an RBI single from Hernandez
Three-runs would be more than enough for the Indians’ bullpen to finish off the Tigers as Nick Wittgren, James Karinchak and Adam Cimber combined to toss three scoreless innings to lock down the victory.
With the win, Cleveland has now won seven of their last eight games and 21 of their last 22 against the Tigers. Detroit has now lost nine of 10 games and are now just 10-15 on the season.
On Deck: The Indians will finish their three-game set with the Tigers Sunday when they send Carlos Carrasco to the mound. Carrasco has had trouble with his command of late as he’s walked 12 batters in his last 14.2 innings of work but still has a respectable ERA of 3.71 on the year. Detroit will send their No. 5 prospect in Tarik Skubal to the mound. Skubal had a rough MLB Debut Tuesday against the White Sox as he allowed four runs in just two innings of work. First pitch from Progressive Field is set for 1:10 p.m. EST.