INDIANS (29-27) AT WHITE SOX (26-29)
8:10 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, ST-OH, MLB.TV
The next run Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco allows against the Chicago White Sox this season will be his first.
Carrasco enters Thursday’s start in Chicago with two victories and 12 scoreless innings against the White Sox this month, sterling numbers for someone who is a meager 4-5 with a 4.60 ERA overall.
Still, if there’s a silver lining for Chicago in the opener of this four-game series, it’s this: Carrasco has pitched nowhere near as dominantly in losing his past two starts, yielding nine runs (eight earned) and 16 hits in 11 1/3 combined innings against the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field.
After striking out 12 and walking zero in his successive outings against the White Sox, Carrasco proved more susceptible to walks against the A’s and Rays while yielding five home runs, including three on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of homers right now,” Carrasco said after Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay. “I’m pretty sure I’d rather do walks and ground-ball double plays instead of homers. But you know what, just move on. Tomorrow is a new day, so let’s get it working tomorrow for the next start.”
Carrasco has allowed nine home runs in his past 31 innings. A key to enjoying a round-tripper respite figures to lie in regaining his control, Indians manager Terry Francona said on Saturday.
“One (homer) was a changeup, middle of the plate. … The other ones were fastballs that were either middle or mislocated,” Francona said. “I mean, they’re looking for fastballs out over the plate, and they take some pretty healthy swings at them, and that’s what happened today.”
The White Sox welcomed shortstop Tim Anderson back to the lineup during Wednesday’s 8-7 victory against the Kansas City Royals, which capped a three-game series sweep.
Anderson delivered a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning to rescue Chicago, which held on after racing to a 7-1 lead after two innings. His night included getting hit on the bill of his batting helmet by a pitch, prompting the second-inning ejection of Royals starter Glenn Sparkman.
Chicago manager Rick Renteria had taken a cautious approach with Anderson since he suffered an injury to his right wrist during Friday’s loss in Minnesota.
On Sunday, Anderson told reporters he was “getting better every day” after taking grounders before the game. He swung a bat on Monday before advancing his progression to a pinch-running appearance on Tuesday.
“It’s tough, man,” Anderson said this week. “I want to play. I know I’ve got to do what’s best in that situation and make sure I’m 100 percent when I step out on the field.”
Left-hander Manny Banuelos (2-4, 7.71 ERA) is set to get the call for the White Sox, making his seventh start and 11th appearance of the season. Returning from the injured list on Saturday against the Minnesota Twins, Lopez took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in four innings.
The Indians scored 26 runs in winning two of three games from the Boston Red Sox this week in the first stage of a seven-game road trip.
–Field Level Media