- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - Upset and frustrated with his defense, Carlos Carrasco made his own error.

On Tuesday, he tried to fix it.

The Indians right-hander apologized for criticizing two teammates for not making plays behind him during Monday’s 2-0 loss to the Kansas City Royals, a setback that pushed Cleveland closer to elimination from the AL playoff race.

Carrasco allowed two runs in 7 1-3 innings and afterward said he felt the Indians didn’t support him like he needed.

“Everything was good. Everything went perfect,” Carrasco said to reporters. “We should’ve made those plays right there. That cost me two runs.”

In the first inning, Indians first baseman Chris Gimenez couldn’t handle a hard liner by Eric Hosmer and had it glance off his glove for an RBI single. In the fifth, shortstop Jose Ramirez failed to come up with a grounder as a run scored.

Carrasco was asked if he thought both plays should have been made.

“Yeah,” he said. “I thought they had a pretty good chance of making them, but sometimes we don’t make those plays. That can cost us.”

Poor defense has been an issue all season for the Indians, who lead the majors with 113 errors.

Before Tuesday’s game, Carrasco issued an apology through the team.

“It was a terribly immature and foolish thing to say,” he said in a statement emailed to media members. “I know better and I apologize for saying it. I have made some terrible pitches in my career and position players could have questioned what I was doing. No one wants to be criticized when making their best effort. I will apologize to everyone and it won’t happen again.”

Indians manager Terry Francona chalked up Carrasco’s comments to his competitiveness and disappointment after a tough loss. Francona said he got a text message from Carrasco and the right-hander was waiting for him in his office when he arrived at Progressive Field.

“He’s a good kid,” Francona said. “To me, that’s not the end of the world. Now, the fact he was upset that he said it and he caught it and he didn’t try to backtrack and he apologized. And I thought his apology was really sincere.”

Francona dismissed the idea that Carrasco’s irritation had been building because of the Indians’ sometimes shoddy fielding.

“The defense behind Carlos has been pretty good,” Francona said. “There haven’t been too many runs scored. I just think it was a big game.”

The loss was a costly one for the Indians, dropping them 3 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second wild-card spot with five games left.

Gimenez felt bad about not handling Hosmer’s smash and apologized to Carrasco after the first inning and again following the game.

“There’s no excuse. I should have caught the ball,” Gimenez said. “It wasn’t the easiest line drive - it had a little tail to it - but it hit my glove, and I can’t help but think I cost us the game.”

Gimenez said Carrasco approached him in the clubhouse Tuesday and told him he was sorry. Gimenez believes his teammate truly regrets his comments.

“I’m not mad at him at all,” he said. “It’s that time of the year. We’re in a playoff race and anything like that just seems to get magnified. We didn’t score any runs, but I’m not mad. I would rather him say something like that than be like, ‘Whatever.’

“I understand. He’s intense. He’s fired up. Everybody wants to do well. I didn’t want to not catch that ball.”

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