Brantley, Indians win home opener in extra innings

Jimmy Miller

At the end of his first game in Cleveland since last May, outfielder Michael Brantley hit a walkoff double to lift the Indians to a 2-1 win in their home opener Tuesday.

Brantley slogged through an injury-filled 2016 season, as he only appeared in 11 games due to a pair of surgeries on his right shoulder. But on Tuesday, his hit was good enough to score shortstop Francisco Lindor from first base in the 10th inning.

In a postgame interview with SportsTime Ohio’s Andre Knott, Brantley thanked his family for helping him through hardships last season.

“There were times I thought I’d never be back,” Brantley said. “My kids are in the stands and they got to watch daddy play again. I spent a lot of time away from them rehabbing this season, but back on the field I am and I got to do in front of a sold-out home opener. I don’t know if it gets any better.”

The Indians (4-3) lost three consecutive games to the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to their win Tuesday.

Lindor provided the Indians’ only other run with his home run in the first inning. Otherwise, the Indians largely struggled against six different White Sox pitchers, recording just five hits but racked up 12 strikeouts. They left 15 runners on base by game’s end.

Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco — who also suffered a season-ending injury last season — pitched seven innings and gave up four hits while striking out seven batters. Reliever Bryan Shaw earned the win.

Third baseman Todd Frazier paced the White Sox (2-4) with two hits, one of which sailed over the outfield wall. Though four other players also managed hits, Frazier’s solo home run was the team’s only score. Starting pitcher James Shields allowed two hits and struck out six batters in 5 ⅓ innings of work. Reliever Tommy Kahnle picked up the loss, his first of the season.  

The Indians, who lost the World Series to the Chicago Cubs last fall, received their American League Championship rings prior to the game.

Jimmy Miller is the editor-in-chief of The Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected].