Carrasco Mows Down Marlins to Earn Tenth Win; Indians 6, Marlins 2
Bob Toth | On 02, Sep 2016
Sometimes it takes just one play or call to change the outcome of a baseball game. A blown checked swing call in the first inning helped Cleveland pile on three runs in its first trip to the plate as the Indians breezed to an easy 6-2 victory over the visiting Miami Marlins on Friday night.
There was no rust on an Indians team that undoubtedly enjoyed its first day off in 23 days on Thursday. They jumped out to a big lead on Miami’s Andrew Cashner, giving their starter Carlos Carrasco plenty of runs to work with after his easy first inning. He would need far fewer runs than he was actually provided on Friday.
After taking a strike looking to open the bottom of the first, Carlos Santana saw four straight balls to draw a walk. Jason Kipnis worked the count full, but on his 3-2 pitch, he tried to check his swing and by all accounts and visual evidence appeared to go well beyond the plane. Santana was thrown out easily attempting to steal, but in a shocking development, third base umpire Andy Fletcher ruled that Kipnis had held up, negating the caught stealing and providing Kipnis with ball four. The inning spiraled away after that for Cashner and the Marlins.
After two quick strikes, Francisco Lindor blooped a single in front of the center fielder to load the bases. Mike Napoli drew a four-pitch walk, forcing in the first run of the night. Jose Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, driving in Kipnis, but his hustle beat the throw at first. Still with one down, Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out to first, but Lindor scored to give the Indians a 3-0 lead.
Carrasco retired all three outs in the second on strikeouts, working around a two-out single by Jeff Francoeur. The Indians got back to work in the bottom half, adding another run against Cashner as Tyler Naquin doubled to right center, Roberto Perez sacrificed him to third, and Santana drove him home with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Indians starter and second staff ace mowed through the Marlins. He added another strikeout to start the third and struck out two in the fourth, working around a pair of singles from Martin Prado and J.T. Realmuto. Two more reached in the fifth, as Destin Hood doubled and Dee Gordon walked, but Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a force at second.
Cleveland added two more in the bottom of the fifth as another walk came back to hurt Cashner. With one out, Ramirez doubled to right and Chisenhall walked. Abraham Almonte doubled home both runners to give the Tribe a six-run advantage. Cashner, to his credit, settled in to strike out the next two batters and all three outs of the inning, but the damage was done.
Carrasco replicated his second inning in the sixth, retiring all three outs on strikeouts while giving up a two-out hit to Realmuto. He added one more K in the seventh and left after retiring the first batter in the eighth. Reliever Jeff Manship came in and gave up a ground rule double to right before Realmuto got his third hit of a night, depositing a two-run homer deep to the home run porch in left to make it a 6-2 game.
The Indians loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth against Nefi Ogando with a single and back-to-back two-out walks, but could not score. Cody Allen came on in the ninth in a non-save situation and got a fly out, a strikeout, and a groundout to end the game.
The Indians (77-56) have now won three straight games against Miami, dating back to their last series with the Marlins in 2013. The Tribe improved to 43-23 at home this season, including wins in each of the first four games of their homestand.
The Marlins (68-67) lost an important game and continued their downward trend in the National League East and NL Wild Card standings. They have now lost six of their last seven ball games.
NO CRUMBLE IN THIS COOKIE
Carrasco (10-7, 3.06 ERA) lasted seven and one-third shutout innings and got an impressive ovation from the crowd on hand for his work on the mound. It was a strong bounce back effort from the right-hander, who had lasted just four innings in his last start against Texas on August 27.
He allowed six hits (just one for extra bases), walked one, and struck out eleven, tying his second highest strikeout total in an outing this season. It was the sixth consecutive start for Carrasco with at least eight strikeouts.
CASHNER CRUSHED BY BIG FIRST
The number six haunted Cashner (4-11, 5.00) throughout the course of his evening in Cleveland. He worked five innings and allowed six hits, six runs, six walks, and struck out six. Even his 108 pitches thrown in the short outing were a multiple of six.
Cashner fell to 0-4 in seven starts with the Marlins since being acquired in July from the San Diego Padres. The Marlins won his first start for the club, a no-decision, on July 31, but have proceeded to lose each of the last six.
ALMONTE DOUBLES SOME MORE
Almonte added two more doubles in Friday’s win, pushing his season total to 17 on the year in just 130 at bats. Despite playing nearly one-third the games of the players above him on the team’s leaderboard, he is just three doubles behind Rajai Davis and Napoli for the sixth-most two-baggers on the club.
Almonte has now hit safely in each of his last seven games.
Former Indians minor leaguer Hood made his Major League debut on Friday after being added to the MLB roster by the Marlins this week with the September roster expansions. He knocked out another first when he doubled in the fifth inning against Carrasco, but was erased at third on a groundout. He singled in the seventh and was forced out at second later in the inning. He struck out against Carrasco in his first at bat and against Allen in his final at bat in the ninth.
CRISP IN UNIFORM
New old Indians outfielder Coco Crisp was in the dugout and in uniform for the Tribe on Friday night, but did not play.
After just one pitch in the top of the ninth, Marlins first base coach Perry Hill was ejected for reasons unknown. Assistant hitting coach Frank Menechino came off of the Marlins bench to replace him.
A battle of former 2011 first round draft picks will take place on Saturday night at Progressive Field as Trevor Bauer (9-6, 3.73) takes on All-Star Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.79). Bauer will look to end a personal three-game winless streak despite pitching effectively each time out. The hard-throwing 24-year-old Fernandez has not allowed a run over his last two starts, a span of 13 innings. In his only career start against Cleveland on August 2, 2013, the then-rookie struck out 14 Indians hitters in eight scoreless innings in Miami.
Game time is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET from the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images