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Indians fall to Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Easter Sunday

By Ryan Lewis Published: April 16, 2017

The Indians squandered an effectively wild outing by Carlos Carrasco in a 4-1 loss the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on Easter Sunday.

Carrasco (1-1) allowed two runs on four hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. He also struck out five. The decisive—and really, only—blow against Carrasco came in the second inning. Following Tyler Collins’ single, Alex Avila, one of the hottest hitters in the league to start the season, drove a two-run home run to left field, putting the Tigers up 2-0.

That home run proved to be the difference on a day in which Tigers (8-4) starter Matt Boyd (2-1) allowed just one run in six innings pitched, in large part behind a changeup the Indians struggled to handle.

“The changeup kind of took the sting out of our bats,” said Indians manager Terry Francona. “Sneaky fastball. Real good changeup. He could throw it any time, any count. And it's a good one.”

The Indians (5-7) were held scoreless until the sixth. Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion each singled with one out. Brantley then stole third, allowing him to score a few pitches later via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Jose Ramirez, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 2-1. With the tying run on third, though, Boyd struck out Brandon Guyer, the Indians’ lefty-masher, to end the inning.

Miguel Cabrera answered in the eighth with an RBI-single up the middle off of Bryan Shaw. Cabrera exited the game with lower back tightness. JaCoby Jones entered as a pinch runner and later scored on a wild pitch by Zach McAllister.

On a sleepy Easter Sunday, the Indians’ lineup was never able to threaten the Tigers’ lead against closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth.

It was the Indians’ third straight series loss since they opened the season by sweeping the Texas Rangers. They went 2-4 on this home stand, all against American League Central opponents.

“Last year we weren’t in first place until late May, maybe early June,” said Francisco Lindor about the club’s slow start. “We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve just got to make sure we stay within ourselves, not try and do too much and continue to compete.”

Aside from a 13-run rout of Justin Verlander Saturday night, the Indians’ offense was stagnant throughout the home stand, averaging 2.8 runs a game in the other five.

“We are doing it, we’re just not hitting at the right time,” Lindor said. “We’re just not doing situational hitting right now. But I feel like guys picked it up a little bit, guys started hitting it a little more. We’re doing it, we’re just not doing it at the right time.”

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