You go, Coco! Crisp shines in Indians return

You go, Coco! Crisp shines in Indians return

CLEVELAND -- As outfielder Coco Crisp made his way to the plate in the first inning on Saturday night, he was greeted by a roar of cheers from the crowd at Progressive Field.

"It was a familiar walk," Crisp said after the Indians' 8-3 win over the Marlins. "So it wasn't too much of a stretch, mentally, for me to take that walk up to the plate. When I heard the cheers from the fans, I was still so focused. I could hear it, but I was focused on what I needed to do. To look back at it, I wanted to make sure I gave a shout-out for that. That was pretty special."

From the very first at-bat, it was clear it was going to be a special night for the former A's outfielder, who was aquired via trade on Wednesday. Saturday marked his first start with his new -- but also former -- team.

To open the game, Crisp dug into the batter's box for the first time in a Cleveland uniform since 2005, facing Miami righty Jose Fernandez. He wasted no time, lifting an 0-1 fastball from Fernandez into center for a leadoff double. Jason Kipnis rewarded his efforts with a two-run shot to right-center, trimming an early 3-0 deficit to one run.

"Facing one of the best pitchers in the game, it's hard to get some rest the night before," Crisp said. "But coming into today, I was just like, 'Just get on base one time. Just doing something positive for the team would be a good day.'"

Kipnis' two-run homer

But Crisp was not done there. The veteran outfielder added to his debut of his second tour with Cleveland by hitting a single in the fourth and sixth innings. Both came against Fernandez, who was charged with seven runs (six earned) on a career-high 12 hits.

"It helps us win, but you always want a guy that's new [to do that] so they don't press," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And Coco's been doing it for a long time. But still, that'll make him feel like part of the team a lot quicker."

Crisp finished Saturday's showing by going 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored. It was rather impressive, as he posted just four three-hits performances with Oakland all season.

The rest of the order fed off his success, especially the top three batters. Crisp, Kipnis and Francisco Lindor combined to go 9-for-13 with three RBIs and six runs scored.

"Having him in the clubhouse," Lindor said, "having him around, always smiling, always talking to the guys. You see him playing, right away you see the good things he can do for us. It's awesome."

Lindor's four-hit game

Crisp admitted that he was a bit nervous about the fact he hadn't been traded in-season over his previous 14 years. However, if Saturday is any indication, the transition should be a smooth one.

"You want to do something special," Crisp said. "I was able to get it out of the way in the first at-bat and keep things rolling. It was definitely a weight lifted off my shoulders to do it right away."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.