CLEVELAND -- For much of this season, it has been the Indians' pitchers who have bailed out the offense. On Thursday afternoon, the Tribe's lineup was tasked with returning the favor and did all it could, but fell short in a draining opener to a doubleheader against the Blue Jays.In
CLEVELAND -- For much of this season, it has been the Indians' pitchers who have bailed out the offense. On Thursday afternoon, the Tribe's lineup was tasked with returning the favor and did all it could, but fell short in a draining opener to a doubleheader against the Blue Jays.
In a 13-11 loss in 11 innings, the Indians pieced together a seven-run inning, Francisco Lindor launched a pair of home runs and the offense mounted two comebacks. Carlos Carrasco's rough start, combined with continued bullpen struggles proved too much for the hitters to overcome.
"On one hand, it's kind of agonizing," Indians manager Terry Francona said of the loss, "because you're burning through pitchers. But, on the other hand, guys keep playing. That's what we do here and that's why I get proud of these guys. That's a hard game to win. We came pretty close."
The final blow came in the 11th inning, when left-hander Tyler Olson surrendered a go-ahead grand slam to Toronto's Yangervis Solarte. That capped off a career day for Solarte, who ended with five hits and six RBIs for the Blue Jays.
Carrasco logged 5 1/3 innings and was charged with six runs, including five within the first four frames. The right-hander surrendered a two-run homer to Russell Martin in the second and then allowed a three-spot in the fourth. That is when the Indians' lineup went to work on erasing Cleveland's early deficit.
Lindor highlighted a seven-run, seven-hit flurry in the home half of the fourth with a three-run homer off Blue Jays lefty Jaime Garcia. The Tribe sent 12 batters to the plate in the frame, which also included a two-run single from Bradley Zimmer and run-scoring hits from Brandon Guyer and Edwin Encarnacion.
"I always trust my teammates," Carrasco said. "I remember Lindor said, 'Keep it right there. We're going to make some runs for you.' Lindor said that to me, so it was, 'OK, these guys are playing really hard. I just need to hold it right there.' That's what I did and those guys ended up making seven runs."
Armed with a 7-5 lead, Carrasco allowed a one-out single to Curtis Granderson in the sixth before being lifted from the contest. Reliever Nicholas Goody took over and promptly surrendered a first-pitch homer to Josh Donaldson. Goody later exited with a right elbow injury. The Tribe's bullpen then allowed two runs over the next two innings to let the lead slip away.
"When Nick got hurt," Francona said, "the home run before didn't help, but then we also lost his inning-plus. And that made it really hard."
Lindor's second blast of the day (his third in the past two games) was a solo shot off Toronto reliever Dennis Tepera in the eighth. It marked the shortstop's third career multi-homer performance and ignited another game-tying rally. Later in the frame, Michael Brantley sent a pitch past Solarte -- the first baseman was charged with a fielding error -- and into the right-field corner, scoring Jose Ramirez to tie the game at 9.
"Tough game," Carrasco said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Goody exits with injury: In the seventh, Goody fired a 1-2 slider to Toronto's Kevin Pillar, who opened the inning with a single on the pitch. Immediately after throwing the breaking ball, Goody grabbed his right arm in pain. The right-hander exited with what was later diagnosed as right elbow inflammation, but the extent of the setback was not immediately known. Following Goody's departure, Pillar stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s RBI single off Zach McAllister.
After the game, Goody was placed on the 10-day disabled list and the Indians purchased the contract of reliever Evan Marshall from Triple-A Columbus. Goody underwent X-rays and will have an MRI exam on Friday to further evaluate the injury.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Solarte tried to make something happen for the Blue Jays in the 10th inning, when he sent a pitch from Tribe reliever Dan Otero to the wall in left-center. Zimmer ran down the ball in center, played it off the wall and fired a pinpoint throw to second, where Solarte was trying to turn a single into a double. Instead, second baseman Jason Kipnis applied the tag for a key out.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the bottom of the 11th inning, Toronto closer Roberto Osuna threw a 1-2 pitch to Ramirez that was initially ruled a ball. The Indians challenged the call, which was overturned to a hit-by-pitch following a replay review. Brantley followed with a double and Encarnacion added a two-run single to trim Toronto's lead to 13-11, but that is where the Tribe's last comeback bid ended.
Zimmer leads the Indians with four outfield assists this season. Since being promoted to the Majors on May 16, 2017, Zimmer has led all American League center fielders with 12 assists, which are tied with Billy Hamilton of the Reds for the MLB lead.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.