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|1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, September 23, 2017
Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington Attendance: 31,565
After rare loss, Indians turn to Carrasco vs. Mariners
SEATTLE -- Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona admitted he was a little concerned about right-hander Carlos Carrasco coming out of spring training.
A rash of injuries had prevented Carrasco from getting in his work in spring training, making Francona wonder how he would fare during the regular season.
Francona need not have worried.
"In spring training, we were worried just because he hadn't pitched," Francona said. "And he hit the ground running."
It will be up to Carrasco to carry on Cleveland's torrid stretch of 27 wins in 29 games Saturday when the Indians face the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field for the second game of a three-game series.
Seattle defeated Cleveland 3-1 on Friday on Nelson Cruz's two-run walk-off home run.
The Indians (96-58) are two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors and home-field advantage in the postseason. The Mariners (75-79) are five games back in the race for the second American League wild card.
Carrasco was 16-6 and entered the contest with a 3.48 ERA in 186 innings. As the Indians have heated up toward the end of the pennant race, Carrasco has shined as well, going 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts in September.
"He's at an innings high, which shouldn't be unique because he's built for it," Francona said. "It's just the injuries he's had have limited him. ... But this is the guy we envisioned."
He lost his only start against the Mariners this season, a 3-1 setback at Progressive Field on April 28. In his career, he's 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 27 1/3 innings.
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano has fared well against Carrasco in his career, hitting .412 (7-for-17, two home runs). But Cruz hasn't done nearly so well, hitting a homerless .214 (3-for-14).
Mariners manager Scott Servais said Friday that the Cleveland series brings a different dynamic, after having played their last 19 games against AL West opponents.
"I would like to say it's refreshing to see the Cleveland Indians," Servais said tongue-in-cheek. "I won't go quite that far, but to see a new club, a team you haven't seen in a while. You get so used to play division teams."
Rookie Andrew Moore will pitch for the Mariners, an assignment the right-hander didn't get until Thursday.
Moore (1-4) comes into the game with a 5.40 ERA in 55 innings. But he has done his best work in September, going 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 16 2/3 innings, limiting batters to a .180 batting average in that stretch.
"We've been able to stretch out his starts a little bit, which I think has been good, pitching the whole month of September for the first time," Servais said of Moore. "Hopefully, he gives us a good effort. He always gives us good effort, but good results would be great, too."
Moore has never faced the Indians.
Francisco Lindor enters the contest hitting .266 (4-for-15, one home run) against the Mariners this season. Cleveland slugger Edwin Encarnacion his hit .071 (1-for-14) against Seattle.
Updated September 23, 2017