The Indiansâ€™ performance against the Giants in San Francisco didnâ€™t raise the optimism level among Tribe fans. It probably didnâ€™t do much to encourage the guys who play, either.
After scoring four runs and being swept in the three-game series at AT&T Park, despite good pitching, it was important to demonstrate a pulse at Chase Field.
And the Indians came through, winning two out of three before heading for Cincinnati to play the last three of this yearâ€™s interleague games.
â€śIt was good to win this series on a long trip,â€ť manager Manny Acta said. â€śWe have a little momentum, a nice day off, and weâ€™ll try to get the first one (at Great American Ballpark) right away.â€ť
The Indians won all three games against the Reds at Progressive Field, but playing in a National League park without designated hitter Travis Hafner and injured Shin-Soo Choo makes the task more difficult. But at least the Indians know the Reds.
â€śWeâ€™re familiar with each other from being at the same spring training complex,â€ť Acta said. â€śI donâ€™t think anybody has an advantage.â€ť
Despite the Indiansâ€™ slide from 15 games over .500 to four games over (after Tuesday nightâ€™s loss), they remain in the race for the Central Division championship.
â€śIf we really were going to go south, it would have happened already with all the injuries and stuff,â€ť Orlando Cabrera said. â€śWeâ€™re still fighting and staying afloat. Itâ€™s a great sign for our team that we donâ€™t want to give up. And as long as we stay motivated, weâ€™re not going to give up.â€ť
The offense continues to be the primary problem, but when interleague play concludes, Hafner will be back in the lineup. That wonâ€™t totally cure the attack, but it will help.
â€śWe want to keep it going for at least a month,â€ť Cabrera said of the offense. â€śThen weâ€™ll see where that takes us.â€ť
Everett on his own
The Indians released utility infielder Adam Everett after he cleared waivers. In 34 games, Everett batted .217 (13-60) before being designated for assignment June 27. Veteran players who are out of options can choose to be free agents if they clear waivers.
Cabrera lamented the fact that Justin Masterson has pitched well but hasnâ€™t won since April 26, a span of 11 starts without a victory.
â€śEvery time he pitches, we donâ€™t score,â€ť Cabrera said. â€śBut he pitches a hell of a game. The guy is so positive. He just goes out and does his job. And he knows weâ€™re trying.â€ť
Lou Marson is batting .325 (13-for-40) in his past 12 games (heâ€™s also playing more)... Austin Kearns is batting .293 (12-for-41) in his past 12 games... The Indians are 9-6 in interleague play . . . The clubâ€™s record when it scores first is 27-11.
David Huff (8-2, 3.74 ERA) became the third Columbus starter with eight wins, as the Clippers beat Toledo 12-4 in Class AAA. Jason Kipnis had three hits and two RBI, Tim Fedroff homered, doubled and singled, driving in three runs, and Luis Valbuena homered... Chase Burnette had two hits and one RBI in Kinstonâ€™s 4-3 loss to Myrtle Beach in Class A.