October 2, 2014

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Tough outing: Carlos Carrasco struggles as Indians fall to A’s

Carlos Carrasco

Carlos Carrasco

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — This wasn’t what the Indians or Carlos Carrasco wanted to see.

The Indians lost to the Oakland Athletics 13-3 on Wednesday, but more troubling was the performance of Carrasco, who is trying to earn the final spot in the Indians’ rotation.

Carrasco followed starter Danny Salazar and inherited a 3-0 lead. But Carrasco gave up eight runs — five earned — in 2⅔ innings.

“We had a couple times where we didn’t convert a play but then we didn’t limit the damage,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Worked away from his fastball a little bit. Frustrating outing. The good part is it is spring training but we’re looking for him to build. It’s a little disappointing.”

Sam Fuld scored two runs on two singles and a walk to lead the A’s.

The center fielder has scored 13 runs in 12 games as the A’s leadoff hitter.

Yoenis Cespedes, who snapped an 0-for-23 slump Monday, drove in a run in Oakland’s two-run fifth inning against Carrasco.

Indians top shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor doubled and scored in the third and contributed a run-scoring single as the Indians opened a 3-0 lead against A’s starter Dan Straily.

Drew Pomerantz pitched three scoreless innings. The left-hander, who came to the Athletics in a December trade with Colorado, was Cleveland’s first pick in the 2010 draft. He is seeking a job in the Athletics’ bullpen.

“Pomerantz threw the ball over the plate. That’s the biggest difference between this outing and the others,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “When he gets his breaking ball over, he becomes unpredictable.”

Starting time

Salazar has been brought along slowly by the Indians to allow the young right-hander to last the season. Salazar pitched 107⅓ innings for Lake County in 2009. Reconstructive elbow surgery limited his innings in 2010 and ’11. Then he logged 145 innings at Akron, Columbus and Cleveland last season.

The 24-year old completed 3⅔ innings Wednesday before he reached his pitch limit. He allowed no runs on three hits and two walks with three strikeouts, including Cespedes twice.

“I fell behind in the count a lot in the first inning,” Salazar said. “They told me in the fourth that I only had 10 more pitches or I could have finished. I feel good. I feel like I’m ready for the season. I feel like I can do much more after every game.”

Trainer’s room

Ryan Raburn has been restricted from playing in the field since he ran into the right field wall against the Cubs on March 7. Raburn was in the lineup Wednesday as the designated hitter. While the rest of the team has an off day today, Raburn will get at-bats in a minor league game.

Hot corner

Lonnie Chisenhall started at third base and Carlos Santana at catcher against the Athletics. They are competing for the job at third, although Santana will catch and serve as designated hitter at times during the season.

“Santana enjoys playing third,” Francona said. “He’s catching to help out. I think he would rather not be a full-time designated hitter.”

Chisenhall, who wass hitting .286 with a home run and five RBIs, coming into the game, was charged with two errors. Santana fielded his only chance, a foul pop. Santana was hitting .167 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Roster moves

The Indians optioned right-handers Preston Guilmet and Frank Herrmann, left-handers Colt Hynes and infielder David Adams to Triple-A Columbus.

“I told Frank that this camp was a complete success,” Francona said. “I know he’s mad that he gave up runs but he just needs to pitch and enjoy the next couple months.”