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Shawn Morimando thrives in split-squad doubleheader

Two drastically different outings from Shawn Morimando and Mike Clevinger yielded a winless split-squad doubleheader against the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon.

Summary

An impressive start from an up-and-coming arm was one of the few positive takeaways from Saturday's split-squad doubleheader.

The Cleveland Indians lost 8-4 to the Texas Rangers and tied the Kansas City Royals 4-4 in a pair of weekend matinees.

Shawn Morimando put his 11.57 Cactus League ERA in the rearview mirror to kickstart the pitching unit and improve his resume for a potential major league opportunity in the future. 

Indians vs. Rangers recap

Despite scoring all four runs in the middle innings, the Tribe pitching staff could not start or finish strong.

Mike Clevinger lost sight of the strike zone and issued four free passes en route to three earned runs in 1.1 frames.

"I think he got up and touched 97 [mph]," said manager Terry Francona to reporters. "He's still a work in progress on attacking hitters."

After Kyle Crockett and Ryan Merritt combined for 3.2 innings of one-run ball, Chris Narveson was unable to keep the game tied at 4-4 and allowed four earned runs courtesy of three home runs by Scott Heineman, Alex Burg and Chuck Moorman.

Sandwiched between the two concerning outings were a pair of RBI singles off the bats of Daniel Robertson and Dorssys Paulino.

Indians vs. Royals recap

With one tie earlier this spring, the Indians decided to play extra-innings for the first time since Game 7 of the World Series. Unfortunately for both ballclubs, there were not enough hurlers on either roster to break the deadlock past 10 innings.

Morimando shined in his first career Cactus League start by allowing one run on three hits in a trio of innings pitched. The only run-scoring hit came on Christian Colon's RBI double in the second.

Trailing 1-0, the Tribe battled back courtesy of a pair of solo home runs by Richie Shaffer and Todd Hankins in the fourth and fifth innings off starter Travis Wood. Once Bryan Shaw surrendered an RBI double to Alex Gordon, the road nine tallied another two scores due to a Humberto Arteaga error and Yandy Diaz RBI single.

With a 4-2 lead in the top of the seventh inning, it was up to Steve Delabar, James Russell and Patrick McCoy to keep matters from escalating any further.

Delabar and McCoy were unable to keep the advantage intact after giving up one run apiece in the seventh and ninth. It was the clutch efforts of Terrance Gore's RBI single and Peter O'Brien's solo bomb that prevented the contest from finding a victor.

Up next

After four games in two days, the Indians will play just one contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon at 4:05 PM ET from Goodyear Ballpark.

Trevor Bauer is slated to pitch opposite the team that drafted him third overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long. 


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