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Francona hoping Carrasco avoids suspension

Wednesday - 4/10/2013, 6:35pm  ET

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

TOM WITHERS
AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Indians manager Terry Francona hopes Carlos Carrasco can duck another suspension.

Carrasco, who just finished serving a five-game suspension for throwing at a player in 2011, is facing further discipline after he was ejected in the fourth inning Tuesday for hitting New York's Kevin Youkilis in the left shoulder -- one pitch after giving up a two-run homer to Robinson Cano.

Following the game, an apologetic Carrasco, who was making his first appearance in 18 months after missing last season following Tommy John surgery, said he slipped on the pitch to Youkilis.

"I'm just telling the truth," Carrasco said. "That's what happened."

Carrasco faces a sentencing from Joe Torre, Major League Baseball's executive director of baseball operations who hands out suspensions and fines.

Francona doesn't think Carrasco should be penalized.

"I hope not," Francona said Wednesday when asked if he thought Carrasco would be suspended. "I know how it looked and I also know what he told me. I believe him I know the league has to do their thing, and I fully respect that. The league is pretty good about listening and I know they have a job to do, too."

Carrasco's ejection forced Francona to bring in Brett Myers, who was scheduled to pitch Wednesday's game. It also sent in motion a series of moves, which included Carrasco being optioned to Triple-A Columbus and Corey Kluber being recalled from the Clippers to face the Yankees, who have outscored the Indians 25-7 in the first two games of the series.

After Youkilis was nailed, plate umpire Jordan Baker tossed the ball back to Carrasco, who didn't even realize he had been tossed until he was told by teammate Asdrubal Cabrera. Francona came out and argued with Baker as Yankees manager Joe Girardi watched to see what was going to happen.

Francona said Baker's actions were puzzling to Carrasco.

"I think Carlos got a little confused by the umpire's reactions because I know it confused me," Francona said. "I'm not saying the umpire is wrong, I just don't think Carlos knew what he was doing because I didn't know what he was doing."

When the game ended, Carrasco was waiting outside Francona's office to apologize. Later, the 26-year-old was emotional as he explained to reporters that he didn't purposely throw at Youkilis.

Francona said after speaking with Carrasco that he was confident he didn't throw at Youkilis, who is close to Cleveland's manager after playing for him in Boston.

"I believe he slipped last night," Francona said. "That wasn't Kevin Youkilis' fault. The game has a way of taking care of itself sometimes when it needs to. That's not what happened last night and I fully believe that. Nobody on their team needed to be hit and nobody got hit intentionally.

"What they needed to do was hit some balls at people."

Francona has been forced to juggle his rotation in the early part of the season. Scott Kazmir won the No. 5 starter's job in training camp, but was placed on the disabled list with a strained rib cage. Kluber will be the Indians' seventh starter in nine games.


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