Bats 8, Clippers 3: Carrasco is encouraged after work in bullpen

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Adam Cairns | DISPATCH
Clippers manager Chris Tremie takes the ball from starting pitcher Joe Martinez, who left yesterday’s game in the fourth inning after allowing six earned runs and 10 hits. Right fielder Matt Carson had two of the Clippers’ seven hits, and catcher Roberto Perez drove in two runs. The loss dropped the Clippers’ record to 7-6.

A lunch crowd might have thought the news of the day was Clippers pitchers giving up two home runs and 15 hits in an 8-3 loss to the Louisville Bats.

While the players somberly ate and changed clothes in the clubhouse at Huntington Park yesterday, there were wide smiles in the bullpen in front of empty seats.

Right-handed starter Carlos Carrasco, who missed the 2012 season after having elbow reconstruction surgery, threw 67 pitches while being watched by Clippers pitching coach Tony Arnold and Cleveland Indians pitching coordinator Ruben Niebla.

Carrasco, 26, is scheduled to start on Saturday at Toledo before returning to the Indians. He is amid an eight-game suspension by Major League Baseball for throwing a pitch at a batter.

“You know what? I feel great,” Carrasco said. “The important thing being with Columbus is working with Tony Arnold. He has made a few adjustments for me that have helped so much.”

In his first start since 2011, Carrasco gave up seven hits, two walks and seven earned runs in 32/3 innings in Cleveland’s 14-1 loss to the New York Yankees on April 9.

The problem, he said, was not velocity, but mechanics.

“Tony has seen me throw a few bullpens and told me I wasn’t following through on my pitches,” Carrasco said. “I had been throwing the ball back here (motioning to the side of his body). The ball is now coming out of my hand better. The ball is out in front of me when I release it.”

The correction helped Carrasco throw four hitless innings in getting a save against Louisville in a 4-1 victory on Monday. Forty-one of his 62 pitches were strikes. Manager Chris Tremie said Carrasco treated the appearance like a start in warming up well beforehand.

“I thought Carlos threw really well,” Tremie said. “Those were four very strong innings. He was throwing in the mid-90s. He had good stuff on the ball.”

Carrasco got emotional talking about how his wife of four years, Karelis, brought him through the rehabilitation process in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Karelis told me every day to just concentrate on getting better,” he said. “I felt down being told I’d be out an entire year. I thank God to have someone like her by my side.”

Comings and goings

Right-handed starter Corey Kluber was called up by the Indians before the game and catcher Omir Santos was sent to the Clippers. … Tremie said starter Scott Kazmir will rejoin the Indians and work on the side before being activated from the disabled list.

mznidar@dispatch.com

@MarkZnidar

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