It wasn't the kind of rehab outing that Carlos Carrasco - nor the Indians - had hoped for.
Not even close.
But as the 24-year old said afterward, "The main thing is I feel good, the arm is good."
This, despite the fact that the Indians right-hander labored for a good portion of his 3 2/3-inning outing in a rehab start with the Aeros Friday night in their 7-4 loss to Trenton at a soggy Canal Park.
Originally expected to make just one rehab start before returning to the Indians pitching rotation, Carrasco might need more time.
"It's like a spring training outing," Indians farm director Ross Atkins said before the game. "He missed a little time but should be back to 100 percent (health-wise). His MRI results were clear and he passed his strength tests. The injury was a very mild sprain and not at a point on the tendon where it should cause grave concern."
In fact, Carrasco said it's in a slightly different location near his elbow than when the same kind of soreness that caused him to miss time at Triple-A Columbus last season.
Carrasco may be healthy, but he might have to work on regaining his command first. In all, he dished up four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three batters. In addition to the home run and hit batsmen, he also unleashed a wild pitch in the second inning.
"At times, I got too excited," he said. "But it was good that I had 14 first-pitch strikes (of the 19 batters he faced).
The outing, which was delayed two hours and two minutes by rain, marked Carrasco's first since being sidelined with right elbow soreness April 24 during a shortened three-inning outing at Minnesota.
After Carrasco started Friday's game on a promising note by quickly getting the first two outs of the game, Thunder designated hitter Austin Romine singled then scored on third baseman Bradley Suttle's home run that landed in the right field bullpen.
A double-play ball rescued Carrasco from a first-and-third jam in the second. But he ran into more trouble in the third and fourth innings.[ep
Carrasco allowed a lead off walk to Austin Krum to start the third, but managed to rebound by striking out the next two batters. But Suttle again proved a tough out with a RBI single, followed by catcher Jose Gil's run-scoring double.
Although Aeros pitching coach Tony Arnold came out to try to settle Carrasco down, he still hit the next batter, centerfielder Melky Mesa, in the back before inducing Corban Joseph to ground out to end the inning.
Close to his pitch count, but not quit there, he had the chance to end on a good note when he summoned to come back out to start the fourth inning. Once again Carrasco quickly got the first two outs before once again falling behind Krum and walking him. With that, Carrasco's night was done, having reached his 80-pitch limit.
He went on to earn a no-decision, as the Aeros rallied from the 4-1 deficit he left with thanks to a run in the fourth inning and tacking on two more in the seventh to tie the game. But closer Cory Burns allowed three runs in the top of the ninth inning and the Aeros offense had nothing left in the tank for a final rally in the bottom of the frame.
As for Carrasco, who probably was long gone by the time the game ended at 12:33 a.m., his next step is a bullpen session on Sunday. From there where he next pitches will be determined.