Carrasco's return highlights Indians' victory

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For the Indians, the most important moment of Monday's game against the Rangers arrived with the first pitch. It signaled the official return of Carlos Carrasco, who was forced to serve as a spectator throughout Cleveland's run to the World Series last fall.

In a 3-2 win over Texas, Carrasco worked two innings, fired all his pitches and came away feeling ready for the heavy workload that the Indians have planned for him this spring. That is great news for a pitcher whose season ended on Sept. 17 last year due to an Ian Kinsler line drive that fractured his right hand.

"To be honest, it felt a little bit weird to be back on the mound," Carrasco said. "At the same time, I feel good. Everything was good, coming out good. Every pitch was good. I feel great."

Texas did break through for a pair of runs in the opening inning against Carrasco, though. Jurickson Profar delivered a one-out triple and Nomar Mazara later followed with a towering, two-out, two-run homer. The blast carried deep to right at Goodyear Ballpark, where the ball appeared to tail foul. It was deemed fair, though without the availability of an instant-replay review.

Carrasco ended with two runs allowed on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

"I know he was itching to get back on the mound and help the team," said Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway. "Sitting through the World Series and the playoffs, I know it had to hurt for him. I know he wanted to be pitching. Just to see him, it's a breath of fresh air. He's coming out, competing and getting after it. It's nice, especially as a pitching coach, to have a guy like that back.

Callaway has noted that Carrasco could log north of 30 innings this spring.

"I can get there," Carrasco said. "I had a lot of time off, but in that time I worked really hard to get back to everything that I did -- my mechanics, my pitches, everything. I feel today, everything was good. Good tempo. Good delivery. Everything."

Texas starter Chi Chi Gonzalez, who is vying for a spot in the rotation, turned in two shutout innings, in which he struck out two and allowed only one hit. Reliever Allen Webster allowed an RBI single to Tribe outfielder Tyler Naquin in the fourth, and Tyler Wagner was on the hook for two Cleveland runs in the fifth. In that frame, Francisco Lindor delivered an RBI single and scored on a double from Chris Colabello.

Rangers pitcher Jose Valdespina was hit by a sharp comebacker off the bat of Brad Zimmer in the eighth and dropped to the ground in pain after throwing to first for an inning-ending out. After a brief visit with a Texas trainer, Valdespina, who suffered a groin injury, walked off the field on his own to cheers from the crowd.

Rangers Up Next: Right-hander Nick Martinez makes his first start of the spring against the D-backs at 2 p.m. CT Tuesday in Surprise. Closer Sam Dyson also pitches for the Rangers as he continues his preparation to play in the World Baseball Classic. The game can be heard on's exclusive webcast.

Indians Up Next:Right-hander Mike Clevinger, who is Cleveland's top starting pitcher behind its five-man rotation, is scheduled to take the mound against the A's in a 3:05 p.m. ET Cactus League game in Mesa, Ariz. Relief ace Andrew Miller is among the arms also slated to appear for the Tribe.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.