Big first inning sets the tone in Cleveland win

Big first inning sets the tone in Cleveland win

CLEVELAND -- What was billed as a pitchers' duel between Carlos Carrasco and Chris Archer developed into an offensive battle for the Indians and Rays on Monday at Progressive Field. Thanks to a five-run first inning and some strong work from their bullpen, the Indians topped the Rays, 8-7, and overcame an injury to Carrasco.

"Of course we don't ever want to see our starters come out early," Indians reliever Boone Logan said. "But, we've got the arms down there to pick up the innings. That's what we did tonight."

Indians center fielder Lonnie Chisenhall led the way, highlighting the five-run opening frame with a three-run homer. Francisco Lindor added a solo shot in the eighth inning, and both Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes added RBI knocks off Archer.

Santana's RBI single

The Indians scored plenty of runs for Carrasco, but the Tribe right-hander exited in the fourth inning with left pectoral tightness, resulting in 5 1/3 innings from five Indians relievers. Logan picked up his first win of the season, and closer Cody Allen closed out the game to earn his 10th save.More >

Carrasco was responsible for all five of the Rays' runs, and allowed six hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Rays outfielders Kevin Kiermaier and Peter Bourjos added solo home runs, and Logan Morrison, Evan Longoria and Steven Souza Jr. each added RBI hits off the Indians' right-hander.

Longoria's RBI double

Archer was handed his second loss of the season, as the right-hander only lasted five innings and allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits with six walks and six strikeouts. The six earned runs increased Archer's season ERA to 3.70 from 3.04. More >

Archer strikes out Lindor

"You could tell both starters were probably a tick off tonight," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "But get an early run, they bounce back and score five, impressed with the way the guys battled back against some very good pitchers and got us within one run there at the end." 

Bourjos' solo home run

"So, offensively, a lot of good things. Some guys got some hits pieced together. Arch, just never quite found his rhythm."

Chisenhall caps off five-run first: After the Rays scored the game's first run in the top of the first inning, the Indians responded in the bottom half of the inning by taking advantage of Archer's early command issues. Archer threw 21 pitches (14 balls) to the Tribe's first six hitters, and allowed two runs, prompting a mound visit. The right-hander then fell behind, 2-0, to Chisenhall and left a fastball low and inside to the Indians' center fielder. Per Statcast™, he drove the pitch a projected 367 feet for a three-run home run, giving the Indians a 5-1 lead.

Chisenhall's three-run homer

"With Archer, his stuff is so good. We were able to lay off," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He was scattering some balls early. Fortunately, we didn't go out of the zone too much. When Lonnie gets a big hit it ends up being a crooked number, which ends up probably winning the game for us."

Guyer out four to six weeks with wrist sprain 

Goody limits the damage: After Carrasco was removed from the game, reliever Nick Goody inherited a dicey situation. With runners on first and second and two outs, the right-hander allowed an RBI double to Longoria, cutting Cleveland's lead to 7-5. After an intentional walk to Morrison to load the bases, Goody got Souza to roll over on a slider away, resulting in an inning-ending groundout that stranded the tying run.

Robertson meets Robertson in Cleveland

Carrasco entered the night with the fourth-best ERA (1.86) in the American League, but was ineffective over 3 2/3 innings in an outing that ended with a mound visit with Francona and head athletic trainer James Quinlan. Carrasco left the game with left pectoral tightness. Per Statcast™, the right-hander's four-seam fastball velocity dropped from 95 mph on average in the first inning to 92.3 mph in the fourth.

Carrasco leaves game in the 4th

"He wasn't letting it go, and you start to worry a little bit," Francona said. "We'll certainly look at him more tomorrow. We'll have a much better read. But it's hopefully, maybe a couple days could remedy that. We'll see."

Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte also left the game after aggravating a right biceps injury that first came up on Wednesday in Toronto. He was replaced in right field by outfielder Daniel Robertson, and is headed to the disabled list.

"I should have just put the hat in my back pocket. … When I went to squeeze the ball, I got a hat, too." -- Morrison, on the catch he made in foul territory in the seventh when he came away with the ball, and a fan's hat

Must C: Morrison nabs ball, hat

Chris Archer's five-inning performance snapped a streak of 11 consecutive games in which Rays starting pitchers worked into the sixth inning or later.

This marked the first time as Indians teammates that Andrew Miller and Allen each allowed a run in the same game.

Miller strikes out Norris

Rays: Jake Odorizzi (2-2, 2.61) will get the nod Tuesday night at 6:10 p.m. ET when the Rays play the Indians in the second game of a three-game series at Progressive Field. The right-hander was the victim of bad luck Thursday when he allowed just one run but took his second loss. He has been the picture of consistency thus far.

Indians: Right-hander Danny Salazar (2-3, 5.20 ERA) will take the mound for the second game of a three-game series between the two teams on Tuesday. Salazar is coming off a rough outing in which he only lasted 2 2/3 innings after he allowed five runs on five hits and two walks against the Blue Jays.

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William Kosileski is a reporter for based in Cleveland.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.