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Tribe slugs 5 HRs vs. White Sox; Luplow with 2

In past week, outfielder has four homers -- all against Chicago
@MandyBell02
May 14, 2019

CHICAGO -- The Indians shifted Jordan Luplow to the cleanup spot in Tuesday’s lineup for the first time this season, and the outfielder had a pretty seamless transition into the role. Luplow recorded his second multihomer game of the season, helping lift the Indians to a 9-0 victory over the

CHICAGO -- The Indians shifted Jordan Luplow to the cleanup spot in Tuesday’s lineup for the first time this season, and the outfielder had a pretty seamless transition into the role.

Luplow recorded his second multihomer game of the season, helping lift the Indians to a 9-0 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. After taking Manny Banuelos deep twice on Thursday in Cleveland, the 25-year-old launched another blast against the lefty in the fourth inning Tuesday. He later hit another bomb in the sixth against Josh Osich for his fourth homer this season -- all against the White Sox.

Box score

“I don’t know what it is, honestly,” Luplow said of his success against Banuelos. “Just staying with the approach. He was attacking us a little different today, so you had to make an adjustment, and after the first at-bat, it looks like we did."

Luplow is now hitting .316 with four homers and five RBIs in 19 career at-bats against Chicago. Since getting the call back up to the big leagues on April 28, the outfielder has hit .324 with four homers, six RBIs and leads the team with a .280 batting average.

“Yeah, to get some right-handed presence in the lineup is huge for us,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And to see him feeling confident right now, being really dangerous, that will really help us.”

The Indians have been hoping that hitting will become contagious across what has been a quiet offense to start the season, and Luplow’s bat helped wake up the rest of the bats. Backed by his two dingers, the Tribe set new season highs in runs scored (nine) and home runs hit (five). Roberto Perez began the slugfest in the third, with Jake Bauers and Jose Ramirez -- who went back-to-back with Luplow in the sixth -- also joining in on the fun. The last time the Tribe hit five home runs in a road game was Sept. 7, 2017, against the White Sox.

“It’s a little bit easier hitting with people on base,” Bauers said. “Pitcher’s thinking about some things. I think when you just look like you’re ready to hit and you look like you’re going to do some damage, that just puts a little bit more pressure on the pitcher to make a good pitch. And when they’re feeling a little bit of pressure, they miss more spots. It’s the same way with hitting. If you put more pressure on yourself, you’re not going to do as well. That’s just the way this game works. It’s a weird thing, but that’s just the way it is.”

Cookie stays hot
The offensive outburst supported another stellar outing by starter Carlos Carrasco. After giving up just two hits in a rain-shortened game against the White Sox in Cleveland on Thursday, the right-hander allowed just six hits through seven innings with six strikeouts.

“I did something different, way different,” Carrasco said. “I know they’re going to face me again. So they came out a little more aggressive today, so I changed the whole thing. I came out with fastballs today. They were looking for breaking balls and changeups.”

Since the start of 2017, Carrasco is 7-0 with a 0.73 ERA in nine starts against the White Sox. The Indians have won each of those nine games. After implementing a much faster tempo on the mound in his fourth start of the season, the right-hander has pitched to a 1.93 ERA in his six outings and has not allowed a run in his past 12 innings on the mound.

“He's Carrasco,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He's been around a while. He knows what he's doing and there's a reason why he's as good as he is.”

After averaging 93.6 mph on his four-seamer on the year, Carrasco averaged 94.4 mph in Tuesday’s start, maxing out at 96.4 mph.

“First inning today, I was looking at it was 95 and 96 [mph],” Carrasco said. “The next inning was 92 to 93. Then I came in here and talked to [Trevor] Bauer and [Mike] Clevinger and they said, ‘Where did 95 and 96 go?’ … Then I came for the last three innings at 95 and 96. I know it’s there.”

Mercado makes debut
In his Major League debut, outfielder Oscar Mercado got the start in left and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, in addition to being plunked on the shoulder by a pitch from Juan Minaya.

“It was awesome and a lot of the guys were telling me just kind of soak it all in, and that was kind of what I was trying to do,” Mercado said. “You only get a chance to debut one time. So to me it was something special. I was trying to make the most out of it. I was glad we were able to come out with a win. I mean I don’t think I contributed too much, but I think it was still awesome to be a part of it and be out there and go to battle with those guys.”

Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.