Jason Kipnis missed a number of games due to a sore back last week, but he looked pretty healthy this afternoon when he hit a long, two-run home run to straightaway center field in the top of the 3rd inning. That blast put the Tribe ahead 2-1, and though Milwaukee later tied the game, the Indians went ahead again in the 8th inning and then held on for the Cactus League win.
Zach McAllister was the starter today. A spot on the 25-man roster is all but assured for Old Rough and Ready, and at this point I think he'll be in the starting rotation for at least the first few weeks. He's had a fairly solid spring, and today's outing was impressive despite him throwing only five innings and allowing a pair of doubles. Why? Because he struck out nine and didn't walk anyone. (The only spring training statistics shown to have much predictive value for pitchers are strikeouts and walks.)
Nick Hagadone and Kyle Crockett, both of whom I expect to be in the bullpen come Opening Day, each pitched a scoreless inning, so it was a good day all around on the mound for players expected to contribute for the Tribe.
Other expected members of the starting lineup did well today too. Jose Ramirez tripled, Lonnie Chisenhall had a pair of hits, Yan Gomes worked a long at bat which ended with a single that moved the winning run to third base, and Michael Bourn (batting .395 this spring) collected a base hit as well.
It was a good afternoon for the Indians.
Here's Kipnis' homer:
The Indians will host the White Sox in Goodyear on Sunday. Carlos Carrasco was scheduled to start, but he's away for the birth of his child, so T.J. House will be on the mound instead. Carrasco should be back in time to make one more spring start, likely on Thursday or Friday.