Notes from Tribe’s spring opener victory

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Triston McKenzie got his first big league Spring Training game under his belt. Now, he’s ready to find his second gear.

McKenzie followed Cal Quantrill’s opening act of two scoreless frames in the Indians’ 5-1 victory over the Reds on Sunday afternoon. Although McKenzie was also scheduled to toss two frames, he was pulled after 1 2/3 innings because his pitch count started to escalate.

“I don’t have the specific number, but I bet you — I think he threw 41, 42 pitches — I bet you his strikes-to-balls was just about even,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I know it’s the first game, but we walked a lot of guys, especially leading off innings — things like that. Those are things that, as guys get their legs under them, we certainly want to take care of because that’s a hard way to win a close game like that. But that’s their first time out there.”

McKenzie finished his Cactus League debut after allowing one run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

“I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m where I want to be,” McKenzie said. “I’m not necessarily upset with where I am, but I definitely think there needs to be some more growth, and it definitely needs to happen quickly.”

McKenzie learned from his experience in 2020, when he pitched to a 3.24 ERA in eight games (six starts) after missing the previous…

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