Indians face White Sox in home opener

The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 3: Terry Francona #17 of the Cleveland Indians looks on before the Cleveland Indians take on the Texas Rangers on Opening Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 3, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Indians face White Sox in home opener

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 3: Terry Francona #17 of the Cleveland Indians looks on before the Cleveland Indians take on the Texas Rangers on Opening Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 3, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians' last home game in 2016 was against a team from Chicago. The Indians' first home game in 2017 will also be against a team from Chicago.

A little over five months after losing Game 7 of the World Series to the Cubs at Progressive Field, the Indians, in their home opener on Tuesday, will host the White Sox.

"Tuesday is going to be a fun day," Indians manager Terry Francona told MLB.com. "It'll be the last time that we talk about last year, but I want our guys to enjoy it. I think the fans will, and I know we will. It'll be a special day."

Cleveland will send right-hander Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 3.18 ERA), to the mound, while the White Sox starter will be James Shields (1-0, 1.69).

It will be the first time Carrasco will be on the mound at Progressive Field since Sept. 17 of last year, which became the last start of his season.

Ian Kinsler of Detroit, on Carrasco's second pitch of that game, hit a line drive back to the mound that hit Carrasco, who sustained a broken right hand that ended his season.

Carrasco has put that painful memory behind him, and is looking forward to being the starter in the home opener.

"I'm really excited for that game," Carrasco said. "There's going to be a lot of people and a lot of noise. It's going to be a bit different this year, because of what we did last year."

Carrasco missed the Indians' magical run through the postseason, which ended with an 8-7 10-inning loss to the Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series.

But Carrasco was a key contributor during the regular season, going 11-8 with a 3.32 ERA.

The Indians come into Tuesday's game after going 3-3 on a six-game season-opening trip to Texas and Arizona. They swept three games from the Rangers, but were swept in three games by the Diamondbacks.

Carrasco is the only Indians starting pitcher who has won a game so far. In a 4-3 win over Texas on April 4, Carrasco pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Carrasco has struggled vs. the White Sox during his career. In 17 appearances, 16 starts, vs. the White Sox he is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA.

The White Sox will come into Tuesday's game following a season-opening home stand in which they went 2-3 vs. Detroit and Minnesota.

New White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he is looking forward to facing the Indians.

"They're the reigning American League champs, so we have our work cut out," Renteria told MLB.com. "We're hoping we can kind of see if we can placate them a little bit."

Renteria is no stranger to playing Cleveland. He was the White Sox bench coach last year, when the Indians won the Central Division, finishing 16 1/2 games ahead of the fourth-place Sox.

"We saw it early," Renteria said. "Everybody talked about how they hadn't gotten off to the start that everybody anticipated. But, the body of the players that they have, they compete."

Shields, will be making his second start of the season. In his first, an 11-2 win over Detroit, he pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits, with five strikeouts and five walks.

Shields was 4-12 with a 6.67 ERA last year. That included a record of 0-1 and a 10.57 ERA in two starts vs. Cleveland. In 18 career starts vs. the Indians he is 4-6 with a 4.02 ERA.

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