CLEVELAND: Indians left-hander Kyle Crockett reached the major leagues faster than even he expected. So it was fitting that the reliever would get into his first major-league game sooner than anyone expected, Friday night at Progressive Field.
Not only was Crockett the first member of major-league baseball’s 2013 draft class to reach the big leagues, there was little sitting around waiting to get a chance to pitch in his first game with the Indians.
Tribe starter Zach McAllister followed up striking out the side in the first inning by dishing up an eight-run second that included a Josh Reddick grand slam and Josh Donaldson three-run homer as the Oakland Athletics rolled the Tribe in an 11-1 win.
Before Crockett could even get comfortable in the bullpen, he was rushing to get loose in the second inning. A day that began with Crockett preparing to board a bus in Akron for a road trip to Erie, Pa., along with his Double-A RubberDucks teammates, suddenly had him on the mound at Progressive Field with one out in the second inning.
After issuing a walk to the first batter he faced in Brandon Moss, Crockett quickly gathered his wits and induced Yoenis Cespedes into an inning-ending double play that mercifully halted the A’s early eight runs. But in the third inning, Crockett, who had given up one earned run in his first two seasons of pro ball, gave up his first major-league run and home run via a Jed Lowrie solo homer — just three batters into his brief outing.
Crockett went on to pitch 1⅓ innings, giving up the run on two hits and a walk. Right-hander C.C. Lee and lefty Josh Outman combined for 2⅓ scoreless relief innings before the A’s added to their lead in the seventh against starter-turned-longman Carlos Carrasco. With two outs, Reddick added a two-run home run to his second-inning slam, giving him a career-high six RBI.
The Indians’ lone run came in the first inning when Nick Swisher reacquainted himself with the longball by sending Sonny Gray’s first pitch 379 feet for a line drive home run that snuck over the right field corner wall and landed in the visitors bullpen. It was the first homer by the Indians first baseman since April 12.
But that was the extent of the offense for the Indians, who couldn’t solve Gray. Over six solid innings the right-hander limited them to two hits, scattered three walks and mixed in nine strikeouts to earn the win and improve to 5-1 on the season.
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abj.sports.