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Lake County Sentinel
Indians offense comes through in Triston McKenzie's impressive debut  
In June of 2015 the Cleveland Indians drafted a tall, very skinny Triston McKenzie out of Royal Palm Beach Community High School with their first-round sandwich pick (42nd overall) he immediately became the Indians top prospect. On Saturday night McKenzie made his Major League debut for the Indians at Progressive Field. The debut was worth the five year wait as the Indians topped the Tigers 6-1.

McKenzie was as advertised in his debut. His first MLB pitch was, what else a strike and his first big league strike out was memorable as he fanned future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera to end the first inning.
McKenzie did not allow a hit through the first three innings allowing one base runner as he issued a two out base on balls to Jacoby Jones in the second inning. But Jones was gunned down by Roberto Perez when tried to steal second base to end the inning.

The only run McKenzie allowed came on the first hit he allowed when former Indians prospect Willy Castro took McKenzie deep over the right field fence to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

The rookie went six innings allowing just two hits and only one base on balls while setting 10 Tigers down on strikes. McKenzie picked up the win and is now 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA.

It looked the Tribe offense were going to make McKenzie’s debut a disappointing one as the Tigers pitching led by starter Matthew Boyd held them scoreless through the first five innings. But in the sixth the bats came alive. Jose Ramirez who has been in a slump drew a base on balls to lead off the inning. Another Indian who had been struggling Francisco Lindor then came to the plate and singled on a line drive to right field moving Ramirez to second base. Carlos Santana then flew out to shallow right field and the runners held. At that point Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire took Boyd out of the game replacing him with right hander John Schreiber. Schreiber did strike out Franmil Reyes for the second out of the inning and things did not look good for the Tribe. Schreiber then issued a base on balls to Jordan Luplow to load the bases. Things got even worse for the righty when Domingo Santana came to the plate and laced a doubled to center field to clear the bases. Luplow scored the third run on the play as he slid headfirst with only his hand touching the plate to avoid the tag by Tigers catcher Austin Romine. The Tigers challenged the play, but it was upheld, and the Indians led 3-1. They were not done in the inning. With Domingo Santana at second base Roberto Perez singled to left field driving home Santana to give the Indians a 4-1 lead.

The Tribe added another run in the seventh inning when Cesar Hernandez doubled, moved to third on a Ramirez single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana to give the Indians a four-run lead at 5-1.

Cleveland’s final run came in the eighth inning when with two outs Greg Allen singled and stole second base, his first of the year came home when Hernandez singled to left field and Allen raced home with the Indians sixth run. Hernandez was thrown out at second trying to stretch the single to into a double to end the inning.

Boyd who did not pitch bad was charged with the loss for the Tigers. Boyd went five and one third innings allowing two runs, both earned on five hits. He issued one base on balls and struck out six Indians. Boyd falls to 0-4 with an 8.48 ERA.

The bullpen consisting of Nick Wittgren, James Karinchak and Adam Cimber pitched one scoreless inning each. Cimber allowed the only hit from the bullpen. Wittgren struck out one and Karinchak struck out two.

The Indians and Tigers will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. Lefty Tarik Skubal will be on the mound for the Tigers. Skubal is 0-1 with an 18.00 ERA. Carlos Carrasco will take the mound for the Indians. The right hander is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA.
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​POSTED 08/22/2020 22:23