DETROIT — As expected, right-hander Carlos Carrasco dropped the appeal of his eight-game suspension for hitting the Yankees’ Kevin Youkilis with a pitch April 9.
The suspension was reduced to seven games, and Carrasco, who started Saturday against the Tigers, began serving it Sunday.
“We can keep everybody in order and then slot him in where we think he best fits,” manager Terry Francona said of his rotation. “No one will have to pitch on short rest.”
With off-days surrounding the All-Star break, the Indians considered having Carrasco serve the suspension then, but right-hander Zach McAllister (right middle finger sprain) was placed on the disabled list Saturday and Cleveland needed a starter.
“We talked about a lot of different things, knowing full well that something could happen before the All-Star break,” Francona said. “It always does.”
Carrasco’s return was far from a triumphant one. He allowed six runs on 10 hits and three walks over four innings of a 6-4 loss to Detroit. That followed his April 9 start against the Yankees in which he surrendered seven runs on seven hits (two home runs) in just 3⅔ innings.
Right-hander Chris Perez (right shoulder soreness) is scheduled to throw from the mound Tuesday at Progressive Field, with a minor league rehab assignment the next step.
Perez, who was placed on the disabled list May 27, began throwing Wednesday.
Perez and his wife, Melanie, were charged with possession of marijuana Friday. Though the Indians don’t plan on disciplining the pitcher, there has yet to be word from Major League Baseball on a potential suspension or treatment program for the closer.
Back in there
Yan Gomes started the final two games of the series, catching Saturday and serving as the designated hitter Sunday, as Francona tries to find at-bats for the hot hitter. Gomes entered Sunday hitting .338 (24-for-71) with five home runs and 15 RBIs over his last 22 games.
“I think guys earn their playing time, for sure,” Francona said. “I think he’s been kind of a force, so we’ll try and take advantage.”
The Indians wrap up a nine-game road trip with a three-game series at Texas that begins tonight at 8:05.
Scott Kazmir (3-3, 5.24 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, while the Rangers will go with RHP Josh Lindblom (0-1, 7.71) after placing scheduled starter Alexi Ogando on the disabled list Sunday.
Corey Kluber (3-4, 4.56) starts for the Indians on Tuesday (8:05 p.m.) against LHP Derek Holland (5-2, 2.82), while Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4, 5.03) goes for Cleveland in the finale Wednesday (8:05 p.m.) against RHP Nick Tepesch (3-5, 3.92).
Prized pitching prospect Trevor Bauer tossed seven shutout innings Saturday, allowing five hits and striking out six in Triple-A Columbus’ 4-3 loss to Gwinnett in 10 innings. Bauer, who is 1-2 with a 2.76 ERA in three spot starts for the Indians, owns a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA in nine starts for the Clippers.
Starting pitching has been at the root of the Indians’ recent slide. During an 18-4 stretch, the rotation owned a 3.24 ERA. It followed that with a 5.05 ERA over the last 18 games through Saturday, with the team posting a 4-14 record.