CLEVELAND -- The sun wasn't at its brightest, but the hazy skies forced most eyes to squint on Sunday afternoon. Ezequiel Carrera's shades, however, remained atop the bill of his hat.
In the sixth inning, with two outs and two on, Chicago's Adam Dunn lofted a fly ball toward the warning track in straightaway center field. Carrera ran a long way and turned his body in time for the ball to graze off the heel of his glove and drop to the ground. A pair of runs scored, and the White Sox took a two-run lead en route to a 4-2 win.
The center-field wall wasn't in play, but Carrera had to transition from the outfield grass to the solid rubber of the warning track to flag down the fly ball. But after the long run, he appeared to lose his balance.
No matter the reason for that costly gaffe, manager Manny Acta stood by his rookie on Monday, pronouncing Carrera "the best defensive center fielder" in the Indians organization.
Carrera repaid his manager's trust, making a diving catch in the top of the first to rob the Angels' Torii Hunter of a hit.
Carrera said that the sun didn't factor in to his miscue on Sunday, only that he misjudged the position of the ball as he rotated to make the catch.
Acta said that Carrera's faulty footwork did him in.
"He was kind of stumbling," Acta said. "The sun was to the side, and his sunglasses were on top of his hat, so the sun wasn't a factor. He just started stumbling back there and dropped it."
Nevertheless, Acta had no qualms about putting Carrera in center on Monday.
"He's just human and dropped a fly ball, simple as that," Acta said. "We trust that guy to play center field any day, and he'll continue to play center field as long as he's here."
Carrera couldn't recall another time in his career when he dropped a fly ball at a critical moment.
Neither could his manager.
"I can't pinpoint any occasion where he has mishandled a ball or anything," Acta said. "He just dropped that ball yesterday. He's been really good."