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Carrasco fearless in getting back on mound

Right-hander fans 8 over 5 innings for first win

CHICAGO -- About the only thing that could conquer Carlos Carrasco on Tuesday night was the chilly temperature at U.S. Cellular Field.

A week after being struck in the face with a line drive against the same White Sox team he faced on Tuesday, Carrasco showed no ill effects -- physically or emotionally -- as he pitched five strong innings to register his first win of the season.

"I thought he pitched really well," Indians manager Terry Francona said following the 6-2 victory.

Carrasco allowed just one run on four hits while striking out eight. He had thrown just 60 pitches after the five innings, but Francona decided to take him out because he was having trouble getting loose.

"It was so cold and he was tight," Francona said. "It was taking him a little bit more each inning to get loose. As much as you want to win a game, the last thing we need to do is have someone go an inning or two too long where we lose a guy or something.

"He only threw nine pitches last outing, so what he gave we were hoping was good enough."

Video: [email protected]: Carrasco whiffs Abreu to escape the jam

It was after the bullpen -- which blew a three-run ninth-inning lead on Monday -- took care of the final four innings.

"I missed a week, something like that," said Carrasco, whose start was pushed back two days. "They want to take care of everything, so they did the right thing."

The main issue with Carrasco heading into the game was how he would fare emotionally getting back on the mound following the trauma of getting hit in the face -- especially since he was facing the same team. Carrasco admitted he had a flashback when Melky Cabrera -- the player who hit the ball -- came to the plate in the first inning.

"The first time I saw him, everything came to my mind, but I forgot that -- what happened last week -- and everything went good," Carrasco said.

The only run he surrendered came on a solo home run by White Sox slugger Jose Abreu in the first inning.

"I just threw a bad slider and I missed my spot," Carrasco said.

The White Sox managed just one other rally against the right-hander when the first two batters singled to start the third inning. Carrasco, though, got Cabrera to ground into a double play and then struck out Abreu.

"I thought he used his offspeed stuff especially well, changeup, breaking ball," Francona said. "He located real well and stayed ahead. I thought he did a good job."

John Jackson is a contributor to
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