Indians bullpen blows Carrasco’s good start as Brewers notch 7–1 win
On a cool, crisp Friday night at Progressive Field, the Milwaukee Brewers came in looking to further climb back up into the standings with MVP Christian Yelich and Co. looking to climb up into the top eight in the National League against the Cleveland Indians.
While Carlos Carrasco got off to a rocky start in the first inning before settling down, the Brewers beat the Indians 7–1.
Cesar Hernandez led off the first inning for the Tribe with a double to deep center, but he failed to score as the offense couldn’t knock him in.
Aside from his hiccup in the first, Carrasco looked sharp until the fourth inning, where he loaded the bases with two down and a chopped infield single scored the Brewers first run. Catcher Jacon Nottingham hit into a force out and Carrasco escaped a fourth inning jam.
Carrasco exited after six innings with seven strikeouts on six hits, three walks and an earned run on 97 pitches, stranding six Brewers on base.
When it came time for the Tribe to bat in the fifth inning, Franmil Reyes walked to start things off and Tyler Naquin stayed hot with a single, followed by newly acquired Josh Naylor’s own hit up the middle to load up the bases.
Following an Austin Hedges strikeout, Delino DeShields hit into a fielder’s choice. But as the ball was thrown to first base, he ran into the mitt of Jedd Gyorko, knocking the ball out and behind the veteran infielder, allowing Naquin to score on an error to knot the score up at one apiece.
The Brewers broke the game open in the seventh, after hitting coach Andy Baines was ejected, with a RBI double to deep right that Naquin couldn’t snag right as his back collided with the padded outfield wall.
Then a soft bouncer by Christian Yelich got under the glove of Carlos Santana and allowed two more runs to score on the error, making it a 4–1 ballgame. Ryan Braun tacked on another run with a pinch-hit single in a four-run seventh inning.
Keston Hiura hit a 3–0 fastball off James Karinchak in the eighth to put the game away for good.
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Francona still on the mend
Indians President Chris Antonetti informed the media that manager Terry Francona is still resting and that it would be a while before he returned to the team.
“But he has been through a lot and he’s in the middle of a recovery, so I still expect it will be some time before he rejoins us.”
Francona, 61, has dealt with the gastrointestinal issue since Spring Training. This is only the latest health issue that has plagued him over the years, putting him more at risk for COVID-19. In his absence, the Indians have gone 15–8 under Sandy Alomar Jr. and sit atop the AL Central.
Alomar, a six-time all-star catcher, has been a candidate for other managerial positions in recent years.
With a much larger sample of games compared to his short stint as interim manager following Manny Acta’s firing in 2012 and filling in for Francona previously, his performance could lead him to manage his own clubhouse outside of Cleveland if Francona continues to manage past this year.
Breaking the tie
Coming into this series, the Brewers, who previously played in the American league up until 1998, were tied with the Indians for the all-time series played between the two clubs, going 207–207.