Raburn's bat vs. lefties a weapon for Tribe

Veteran utility man enters weekend series hitting .364 with five doubles

Raburn's bat vs. lefties a weapon for Tribe

DETROIT -- There has been a bright spot in the Indians' offensive issues in the early going this season. While the lineup as a whole has struggled to find a consistent rhythm, veteran Ryan Raburn has looked like himself again in the batter's box.

Cleveland values Raburn as weapon against left-handed pitching, and he has answered the call through the first two-plus weeks this season. The 34-year-old utility man has started mostly against lefty pitchers, and he has been used as a pinch-hitter. The early results have been strong.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walters optioned to Triple-A by Tribe after coming off DL

Walters optioned to Triple-A by Tribe after coming off DL

DETROIT -- Zach Walters might have a home on the Indians' bench at some point this season, but the team wants him at Triple-A Columbus for the time being.

On Friday, the Indians activated Walters from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A, where he had already been working on a Minor League rehab assignment. The 25-year-old played two games with Columbus before being deemed recovered from the right oblique strain that sidelined him midway through Spring Training.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Too early to be concerned with Tribe's performance?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian answers Indians fans questions

Inbox: Too early to be concerned with Tribe's performance?

Three innings into the sixth game of the season, a reporter two seats to my right spilled a cup of water in the press box. The reporter directly to my right stood and lifted his laptop in a panic and, in turn, spilled his own drink. As liquid spread across the counter, I grabbed my laptop and moved to my feet. In the process, I spilled my cup of coffee.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime spill that, somehow, did not claim any electronics in its path of destruction. The final toppled cup within the trifecta, however, doused my brand-new scorebook. Coffee dripped from its pages as I tossed it in the trash. The good news is I have a new scorebook -- a clean slate -- for the rest of the season.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Franchise Four competition heats up between Indians legends

Franchise Four competition heats up between Indians legends

It's an unusually tough decision. Who are the four players who best represent the Indians franchise, a team with more than 100 years of history? That's the question posed by Major League Baseball's Franchise Four contest, and the fans will have the final say on their team's four faces.

The contest's first update sees two Hall of Famers among Cleveland's front four, and an amazing four Hall of Famers who just missed the cut. Cleveland immortals Bob Feller and Larry Doby were named among the top four, as were two stars of a more recent vintage: Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber labors as Indians drop rubber game

Kluber labors as Indians drop rubber game

CHICAGO -- An expected low-scoring battle between top-flight starters Jeff Samardzija and Corey Kluber turned into a 6-0 White Sox victory over the Indians on Wednesday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. By virtue of its four-run rally in the ninth inning Monday, Chicago picked up a second series victory this season. But the White Sox win in the finale wasn't as routine as the score would indicate.

Samardzija threw six scoreless innings to earn his first White Sox victory, but he needed 113 pitches to accomplish that. He pitched out of jams in the second, third and sixth innings. Kluber, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, allowed 13 hits over six-plus innings, but four of them came at the start of the seventh. He fanned six and walked one.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Runs scarce, but Kluber takes responsibility

Indians' ace focused mainly on keeping opponents off the scoreboard

Runs scarce, but Kluber takes responsibility

CHICAGO -- So far this season, runs have been as scarce as warm, sunny April days in the upper Midwest when Corey Kluber has been on the mound.

Through Kluber's first four starts, the Indians have managed a total of five runs. That includes zero on Wednesday, as the Tribe lost, 6-0, to the White Sox in the rubber game of the three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Day after, Carrasco deemed in fine shape

Tribe starter lifted on Tuesday after five innings due to tightness from cold temperatures

Day after, Carrasco deemed in fine shape

CHICAGO -- Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco was lifted from Tuesday night's game after five innings and just 60 pitches because he was experiencing general tightness in the cold weather at U.S. Cellular Field, but the team believes he will be just fine.

"It was maybe the first three or four [pitches] every inning," manager Terry Francona said. "He was just tight. It was kind of ambiguous.

"He came in [Wednesday] morning and said he felt really good. [Pitching coach] Mickey [Callaway] and me will go out and watch him throw, but I don't think that [trainer] James [Quinlan] thinks there's anything. Maybe I overreacted. If that's the case, that's one thing I won't apologize for."

Carrasco is scheduled to start Sunday at Detroit.

• When Ryan Raburn's eighth-inning drive bounced off the yellow line at the top of the wall and back into play, the umpiring crew called it a double. Francona came out to ask for a review and was going to get his wish -- until bench coach Brad Mills signaled that the call was correct.

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John Jackson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians rebound behind Carrasco to even series

Indians rebound behind Carrasco to even series

CHICAGO -- Carlos Carrasco made his first appearance since getting hit with a Melky Cabrera line drive in the face one week ago a winning one, as the Indians topped the White Sox by a 6-2 margin Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

Carrasco worked five innings and struck out eight, allowing four hits, including a Jose Abreu homer. Five of Carrasco's first six outs were strikeouts.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swisher, Walters ready to go on rehab assignments

Swisher, Walters ready to go on rehab assignments

CHICAGO -- Nick Swisher (surgery on both knees) and Zach Walters (right oblique) are expected to begin rehab assignments this week with the Indians' Triple-A Columbus affiliate.

Swisher, who's been taking part in extended spring camp, will join the club on Thursday and play on Friday, while Walters will begin his assignment on Wednesday.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrasco fearless in getting back on mound

Right-hander fans 8 over 5 innings for first win

Carrasco fearless in getting back on mound

CHICAGO -- About the only thing that could conquer Carlos Carrasco on Tuesday night was the chilly temperature at U.S. Cellular Field.

A week after being struck in the face with a line drive against the same White Sox team he faced on Tuesday, Carrasco showed no ill effects -- physically or emotionally -- as he pitched five strong innings to register his first win of the season.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Out pitch eludes Allen in difficult setback

Closer gives up three-run lead in ninth inning

Out pitch eludes Allen in difficult setback

CHICAGO -- The final seven batters for the White Sox reached base Monday night, but Indians closer Cody Allen felt as if he was one pitch away from getting out of the jam -- right until the end of the ninth-inning meltdown that led to a 4-3 loss.

"I never felt like we were out of it until we were," Allen said. "But it's just one of those things. They hit some good pitches, they hit some bad pitches."

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Bauer drawing success from hard work, curious mind

Bauer drawing success from hard work, curious mind

CHICAGO -- You never know what's going to happen in baseball, at least not if you keep an open mind and a sense of humor. You can even give up three consecutive home runs and have it be a good thing.

Trevor Bauer did that this spring, and it's starting to look like a turning point of his career.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Allen unable to protect Tribe's three-run lead

Allen unable to protect Tribe's three-run lead

CHICAGO -- The White Sox rallied for four runs with one out in the ninth off of Cleveland closer Cody Allen to claim an improbable 4-3 victory on Monday night.

Alexei Ramirez doubled home two runs on a smash to center that was playable for Mike Aviles, but the ball sailed over his head. Tyler Flowers followed with a single to left and Gordon Beckham singled home the tying run on the next pitch. Adam Eaton singled to load the bases and Melky Cabrera singled to left against a drawn-in outfield on a 3-2 fastball to bring in the game-winner. Seven straight hitters reached base against Allen after Adam LaRoche struck out.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bourn's absence factors into Indians' loss

Gets first day off; pivotal play in center not made

Bourn's absence factors into Indians' loss

CHICAGO -- One of the key moments, perhaps the key moment, in the Indians' ninth-inning meltdown Monday night was a two-run double to deep center field by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. The hit trimmed a seemingly comfortable three-run lead down to a single run and set the stage for the stunning 4-3 Tribe loss.

It also sparked many to wonder why Michael Bourn, the Indians' regular center fielder, wasn't in the game at that point as a defensive replacement for Mike Aviles. With White Sox left-hander John Danks starting on the mound, Indians manager Terry Francona felt it was a good opportunity to give the leadoff hitter, who is 3-for-21 (.143) against left-handers so far this season, his first day off.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carrasco unhindered after being hit by liner

To start Tuesday after sustaining bruised jaw

Carrasco unhindered after being hit by liner

CHICAGO -- Carlos Carrasco originally was slated to start Monday for the Indians, but his start was pushed back to Tuesday after he sustained a bruised jaw on April 14 when he was struck by a line drive off the bat of Chicago's Melky Cabrera.

Indians manager Terry Francona said there will be no limitations on the right-hander.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

House hit hard again in loss to Twins

House hit hard again in loss to Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor May turned in arguably the best outing of his young career, and was backed by a three-run homer from Torii Hunter to give the Twins a 7-2 win over the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.

May, making his 11th career start, went six innings, allowing just one run on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts. It was first time in his career he went at least six innings and gave up fewer than three runs. It helped the Twins to their second straight series win after also taking two of three from the Royals this week. More >

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians fighting through slump up and down lineup

Tribe ranks near bottom of AL in most offensive stats

Indians fighting through slump up and down lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Each season, the common refrain for any team that is struggling early in the year consists of two words: It's early. Two weeks into this campaign, the Indians have been saying that a lot in reference to the club's laboring lineup.

Tribe lefty TJ House did not do his team any favors with a rough outing on Sunday, but the offense once again limped through nine innings, leading to a 7-2 loss to the Twins at Target Field. Michael Brantley delivered an RBI single in the third inning and Carlos Santana slugged a solo home run in the ninth, and that was all she wrote for the local nine.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Irregular schedule has House searching for groove

Indians' fifth starter has been hit hard in sparse action

Irregular schedule has House searching for groove

MINNEAPOLIS -- Part of the job description of a fifth starter is to be flexible on behalf of the rest of the rotation. When days off arrive for a ballclub, that might mean being pushed back several days in order to keep the top four arms as close to a regular routine as possible.

That can also lead to trouble in finding a rhythm on the mound.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe adjusts rotation to give Carrasco extra rest

Pitcher still healing from jaw injury in last start

Tribe adjusts rotation to give Carrasco extra rest

MINNEAPOLIS -- With Carlos Carrasco still dealing with a sore jaw, the Indians felt it made sense to give the pitcher an additional day of rest before his next start.

On Sunday, Cleveland announced that it tweaked its pitching probables for the upcoming three-game series in Chicago, pushing Carrasco's next outing to Tuesday. Right-hander Trevor Bauer, who was originally slated for Tuesday, is now scheduled to start on Monday. Corey Kluber remains the planned starter for Wednesday against the White Sox.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salazar makes big impression in first start of season

Salazar makes big impression in first start of season

MINNEAPOLIS -- Danny Salazar fired a fastball and watched Twins leadoff man Danny Santana foul it back. Three pitches into his first start of the season on Saturday, the Indians righty had shown three heaters. It was time to turn to his splitter.

Salazar's fourth pitch registered at 87 mph -- nearly a 10 mph drop from his average fastball velocity -- and the bottom dropped out of the split-change that spun in Santana's direction. Minnesota's shortstop swung through the pitch for the first strikeout of the afternoon for Salazar, who was only getting warmed up in an overpowering outing that led the Indians to a 4-2 victory.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hagadone backs up Francona's confidence with stellar effort

Hagadone backs up Francona's confidence with stellar effort

MINNEAPOLIS -- Danny Salazar logged six overpowering innings on Saturday and helped lead the Indians to a win over the Twins. Closer Cody Allen struck out three batters in the ninth inning to collect a save and seal the victory for Cleveland.

What should not get lost are the two innings between those performances.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez homers, Salazar fans 10 as Indians top Twins

Perez homers, Salazar fans 10 as Indians top Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Danny Salazar struck out 10 batters in his first start of the season, and was backed by a solo homer from catcher Roberto Perez to help lead the Indians to a 4-2 win over the Twins on Saturday afternoon at Target Field.

"That was really impressive," Perez said. "That was the Danny I know from past years. He was attacking the zone early. He was really aggressive with his fastball. He was overpowering those guys, and then he worked with that splitty off his fastball. He was really effective."

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe options Adams to make room for Salazar

Tribe options Adams to make room for Salazar

MINNEAPOLIS -- In need of a roster spot for starter Danny Salazar, the Indians optioned reliever Austin Adams to Triple-A Columbus prior to Saturday's game against the Twins.

A shift in thinking for the rotation led to Adams being the odd man out in Cleveland's bullpen. Salazar was recalled from Triple-A in order to start Saturday's game and the plan is to keep him in the starting staff. As a result, right-hander Zach McAllister -- already with two relief outings under his belt this season -- will remain in the bullpen for the foreseeable future.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

First win of '15 elusive but Kluber locked in

AL's reigning Cy Young winner racks up 8 K's in 8-inning no-decision against Twins

First win of '15 elusive but Kluber locked in

CLEVELAND -- Say this for Corey Kluber: he has done his part. Three starts into his Cy Young encore, the ace of the Indians' staff has looked every bit as overpowering and dominant as he did throughout last summer's breakout showing.

Kluber just has no wins to show for it.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tribe unravels late after Kluber's stellar start

Tribe unravels late after Kluber's stellar start

MINNEAPOLIS -- Trevor Plouffe connected on a walk-off solo homer in the 11th inning to give the Twins a 3-2 win over the Indians on Friday night at Target Field.

Plouffe's blast came on a 3-1 cutter from Indians right-hander Bryan Shaw, and gave the Twins their third straight win. It helped atone for the Twins' inability to come through with runners in scoring position in the ninth and 10th innings.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salazar getting chance to reclaim rotation spot

Right-hander tabbed to start middle matchup against Twins; McAllister moving to bullpen

Salazar getting chance to reclaim rotation spot

MINNEAPOLIS -- When right-hander Danny Salazar takes the mound for the Indians on Saturday, it will not be a spot start. Cleveland is hoping that Salazar makes the most of his opportunity and resumes his previous role as a fixture in the starting rotation.

"I have to show them that I've been working hard," Salazar said. "I have to prove it."

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.