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Heated pep talk turns Carrasco's night around

Right-hander recovers after slow start to fan six over six innings in Friday's win
MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway decided the time had come to deliver Carlos Carrasco a stern message. After Toronto's Kevin Pillar delivered a two-run triple off the pitcher in the third inning on Friday night, Callaway emerged from the dugout and headed to the mound.

Callaway was as aggressive with his words as he wanted Carrasco to be with his pitches. During the chat, the pitcher looked down as the pitching coach emphatically pointed a finger at him. Asked what he said to the right-hander, Callaway cracked a smile on Saturday morning.

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CLEVELAND -- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway decided the time had come to deliver Carlos Carrasco a stern message. After Toronto's Kevin Pillar delivered a two-run triple off the pitcher in the third inning on Friday night, Callaway emerged from the dugout and headed to the mound.

Callaway was as aggressive with his words as he wanted Carrasco to be with his pitches. During the chat, the pitcher looked down as the pitching coach emphatically pointed a finger at him. Asked what he said to the right-hander, Callaway cracked a smile on Saturday morning.

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"Stuff you can't write," Callaway said. "No, I just went out there and said, 'Don't you let them' -- in other words -- 'do it. Don't let them be the aggressor. You go out there and you attack them.'"

The talk lit a fire in Carrasco.

"He never talked to me like that," Carrasco said. "I don't want to say he was mad, but it was something like that. So, I felt something special. He was trying to help me."

Video: TOR@CLE: Pillar hits a two-run triple to right-center

Following the mound visit, Carrasco struck out Michael Saunders and allowed just one hit to the final 11 batters he faced. Overall, the right-hander gave up four runs (all in the first three innings) on six hits in six innings for the Indians. Carrasco's performance provided the Tribe's lineup with time to mount a comeback, which led to a 9-4 victory for Cleveland.

After watching Carrasco stray away from the aggressive approach that has served him so well since the second half of last season, Callaway said he felt it was an appropriate moment to give the pitcher a kind of wake-up call.

"I thought maybe it was just something that he needed to hear at the time, just to get him pumped up," Callaway said. "I didn't want things to get out of hand, where he was out there trying to make them chase and walking a guy here and there. You walk some of these guys and they hit a big home run and that's how they win. I wanted to make sure he stayed aggressive. I thought it was time to go out there and maybe yell at him a little bit."

Callaway said it is not always easy to know when to take that kind of approach with a pitcher.

"It's tough," Callaway said. "You obviously don't want to do that when it's not necessary, because then you can lose a guy. He's pretty tough when it comes to having good talks with him and serious, hard conversations. Last night, the way things had been going, we needed him to step up and put zeros up on the board."

Indians manager Terry Francona said it was a good moment both for Callaway and Carrasco.

"I think that kind of goes to show," Francona said, "when you have a relationship where there's a lot of trust, you can kind of say what you want. I know Carlos trusts him a lot, as he should. Whatever he said, I don't know. I just know there's a lot of trust there. That's good. Those types of things don't happen overnight. That was obviously a big turning point in the game."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.

Cleveland Indians, Carlos Carrasco