Carlos Carrasco delivers a pitch in his MLB debut.
Carlos Carrasco and Michael Brantley, two players considered key prospects in the Indians organization, made their major-league debuts Tuesday night in Detroit. Carrasco was hit hard in three innings of an 8-5 loss to the Tigers. Brantley bounced into a double play his first time up, then stroked a couple of singles later in the game. Both were called up from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day.
"He probably had the first-time jitters and we thought three innings were enough," Indians manager Eric Wedge said after Carrasco gave up nine hits and six runs. "There was nothing wrong with his stuff, but he didn't command his fastball and did work hard to get through those three."
Shin-Soo Choo's run-scoring single in the top of the first gave Carrasco a 1-0 lead. He couldn't hold it as the first six men he faced all reached safely.
"I was a little bit nervous when I went out there," Carrasco admitted. "My biggest problem was my fastball. It was all over the place. My other pitches were working, the slider and the change."
If anything, Carrasco threw too many first-pitch strikes. The Tigers got wise quickly and rapped out three hits including two homers, on three consecutive pitches in a four-run first inning.
Leadoff man Curtis Granderson doubled on a 3-2 pitch, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. That was the only break Carrasco got in the first.
Placido Polanco then hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left to tie the score and Carlos Guillen hit the very next pitch over the wall in right for another homer.
Miguel Cabrera hit the very next pitch to center for a single and during a nine-pitch at-bat by Magglio Ordonez, stole second. Catcher Kelly Shoppach's throw went into center field, but Cabrera didn't advance. Ordonez walked and Aubrey Huff lined a 1-1 pitch to center to score Cabrera for a 3-1 lead.
After Brandon Inge struck out on four pitches, Gerald Laird lined an 0-1 pitch to deep left for an RBI double before Carrasco got Adam Everett to line out to center to end the inning.
Granderson singled to open the second, but Carrasco caught a break when Polanco followed by lining into a double play.
With one out in the third, Carrasco walked Huff on four pitches and Inge hit a 1-1 pitch into the seats in left for a 6-1 lead.
Carrasco gave up six runs on nine hits and three walks, striking out three.
Carrasco, 22, was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 29 as part of a six-player trade that sent 2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco to the reigning World Champions. Carrasco and three other minor-leaguers, catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald, and right-hander Jason Knapp came to the Indians.
Carrasco went 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts for Columbus. In 42 1-3 innings, he gave up 31 hits, walked only seven and struck out 35.
Brantley singled to center off Edwin Jackson in the fifth inning for his first career hit, following a leadoff double by Shoppach. Grady Sizemore then hit a two-run double to get Cleveland within 8-3. Sizemore later scored on an error.
Brantley lined out against Zach Miner in the sixth, one out after Andy Marte hit his fourth homer of the season.
The 22-year-old outfielder showed his speed in the ninth, beating out an infield single to short with one out against Detroit closer Fernando Rodney.
"I felt a lot of excitement in that first at-bat," said Brantley, whose father Mickey played for the Seattle Mariners. "It's what every kid in America dreams about.
"When I got that first hit, I didn't want to smile too big when I got to first base, but deep down inside I was really happy."
Brantley was acquired with three others from Milwaukee in July 2008 in the trade that sent 2007 AL Cy Young winner CC Sabathia to the Brewers. Cleveland also got first baseman-outfielder Matt LaPorta, left-hander Zach Jackson and right-hander Rob Bryson.
In his first season at Triple-A with Columbus, Brantley hit .267 (122-for-457) with 80 runs, 21 doubles, two triples, six homers and 37 RBI in 116 games.