Pagan and Pence Punish Tribe; Giants 5, Indians 1
Bob Toth | On 26, Apr 2014
A hot start from outfielders Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence helped to pace the San Francisco Giants to a 5-1 win over Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland Indians on Friday night in the weekend interleague series opener.
The Giants wasted no time getting to Carrasco (0-3) in the bottom of the first. Pagan singled to right center to lead off the inning. Pence followed with a triple to deep center to score Pagan and give San Francisco a 1-0 lead. After a strikeout of Brandon Belt, the National League’s leading home run hitter, the slumping Buster Posey walked on four straight. A sacrifice fly by Michael Morse on the first pitch of his at bat to right field scored Pence to push the lead to 2-0.
The Indians struck back in the top of the third off of San Francisco’s Tim Hudson (3-1). Michael Bourn drilled a triple off of the brick wall in right field. Nick Swisher drove him in with a single to the opposite field to the gap in left center to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Carrasco could not keep the gap at one run. Again against the top of the order, Pagan singled to left to start the inning. He moved to second with a steal of second as catcher Carlos Santana lost the ball in the transfer from the glove prior to his attempted throw. Pence drove Pagan in for the second time on the night with a single to right to push the lead to 3-1. Pence was thrown out trying to steal second, Belt struck out for the second straight time, and Posey grounded to third to end the inning.
Morse continued his hot hitting with his sixth home run of the season to lead off the fourth. The solo shot to right center gave the Giants a 4-1 advantage.
Carrasco would be finished after six innings, lifted for pinch hitter Elliot Johnson. He allowed four runs on five hits, struck out six, and walked just one. He made 100 pitches with 63 strikes. His inability to retire the top two hitters in the San Francisco lineup proved to be his undoing on the night. They were 4-for-6 against him with three singles and a triple, three runs scored, and two runs batted in.
Carrasco has not earned a win since June 29th, 2011. He is now 0-12 in his 17 starts since.
“I thought his fastball command was kinda what plagued him tonight right from the get go,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “He was scattering some fastballs and that’s what got him into trouble.”
Josh Outman took over on the mound for Cleveland and gave up a triple off of the wall in right field on his first pitch to Pablo Sandoval. On the very next pitch to Brandon Crawford, a single to right field scored Panda and pushed the Giants advantage to a comfortable 5-1 gap. C.C. Lee took over for Outman and contributed a scoreless effort with a pair of strikeouts.
Hudson left after seven innings. He allowed one run on four hits, struck out five, and walked his first two batters of the season. The first of two walks on the game to Santana ended his streak to open the season without a walk at 30 2/3 innings.
The Indians put a couple of runners on in the top of the ninth against Javier Lopez, but were unable to push any additional runners across the plate.
The top of the Cleveland lineup was responsible for all five of the Tribe hits on the evening against Giants pitching. Bourn, Swisher, and Jason Kipnis were a combined 5-for-12 with four singles, a triple, and one run batted in. The remaining six spots in the lineup went 0-for-21 with three walks and seven strikeouts.
“We couldn’t generate enough offense to climb back in it,” said Francona.
With the win, San Francisco improves to 13-10 on the season, keeping pace with first place Los Angeles in the National League West. With their loss, Cleveland falls to 11-12 and stumbles from second place back to the bottom of the American League Central, one half game behind Chicago, Minnesota, and Kansas City.
The Giants will send Tim Lincecum (1-1, 6.43 ERA) to the mound Saturday. He was a winner his last time out, throwing a quality start with six innings against San Diego last Sunday. Zach McAllister (3-0, 2.28) will counter for the Indians. He has been impressive of late, allowing just three earned runs over his last three starts for a 1.37 ERA.
Game time from AT&T Park on the shores of the San Francisco Bay is scheduled for 4:05 PM. Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and the Cleveland Indians Radio Network will handle your video and audio needs for the game.
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images