Brantley returning to All-Star form after back injury

Outfielder on hot streak since missing games earlier this season

Brantley returning to All-Star form after back injury

DETROIT -- While the Indians are still trying to get their offense firing on all cylinders, a source of consistency has returned to the heart of the lineup.

All-Star Michael Brantley churned out four hits in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Tigers, providing more hope that the left fielder is getting over the lower-back issue that sidelined him for six of the first eight games this season. Brantley might not yet be back to full strength, but he has recovered enough to produce again for Cleveland's laboring lineup.

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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.

House's early struggles continue in spot start

Lefty searching for rhythm after third straight loss

House's early struggles continue in spot start

DETROIT -- Indians lefty TJ House was expecting to face the Royals in his next start. That plan was scrapped less than an hour before Saturday's game in Detroit, where starter Trevor Bauer came down with food poisoning and was too sick to take the mound for Cleveland.

The old adage in baseball is that it is a game of adjustments. The circumstances proved too daunting for House to handle.

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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.

Brantley's bat not enough to back bullpen in Detroit

Brantley's bat not enough to back bullpen in Detroit

DETROIT -- Alfredo Simon became the first Tigers pitcher to win his first four starts in a season since Frank Tanana in 1988, delivering 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball to help the Tigers end a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Indians on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.

On a day when Miguel Cabrera walked four times in a game for the first time in his career, Detroit didn't need much offensive output to put Simon ahead for good. With a pair of run-scoring singles, Victor Martinez drove in three, one more run than the entire Tigers lineup produced over the previous two games combined. Two of those runs were scored by Rajai Davis, who added an insurance tally in the fourth when he hit a two-out single, stole second base and scored on Ian Kinsler's double.

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

Bauer scratched due to illness, slated to start vs. Royals

Bauer scratched due to illness, slated to start vs. Royals

DETROIT -- The Indians were forced to make a last-minute adjustment to their rotation on Saturday after right-hander Trevor Bauer was unable to get through his warmup routine.

Shortly before Cleveland's 4-1 loss to the Tigers, the Indians announced that Bauer was scratched from his scheduled start due to illness. The right-hander attempted to work through his pregame long-toss program, but had to stop after he continued to feel sick.

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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.

Carrasco, Lobstein battle in Rock City rubber game

Carrasco, Lobstein battle in Rock City rubber game

All eyes continue to be on Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, who is only two starts removed from an early-season scare.

When the big right-hander takes the mound against Detroit on Sunday, it will be his second start since being hit in the jaw by a line drive in a game against the White Sox. Carrasco looked sharp in his return for Cleveland on Tuesday, when he held that same Chicago team to one run in five innings with eight strikeouts.

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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.

Bourn showing off healthy legs in center field

Veteran makes crucial catch early in opener vs. Tigers

Bourn showing off healthy legs in center field

DETROIT -- It was the kind of play that can easily get buried within a box score overabundant in offensive exploits. The catch made by center fielder Michael Bourn in the first inning Friday night was not lost on Indians manager Terry Francona.

"That play was a really big play in the game," Francona said.

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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.

Moss breaks out with career-high 7 RBIs, 2 homers

Moss breaks out with career-high 7 RBIs, 2 homers

DETROIT -- This was the kind of night the Indians had in mind when they traded for Brandon Moss over the offseason. Cleveland envisioned towering home runs from the slugger out of the heart of its lineup, putting pressure on opposing pitchers.

On Friday night, Moss provided precisely that for the Tribe, launching a pair of home runs and piling up a career-high seven RBIs to power his new team to a 13-1 romp over the rival Tigers. Moss wanted to make a strong first impression with Cleveland, but it took a little more than two weeks for him and the rest of the lineup to wake from an early-April slumber.

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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 dominating after starting season in Minors

Righty has 2.08 ERA in two outings after fanning 11, giving up one run Friday

Salazar dominating after starting season in Minors

DETROIT -- Danny Salazar issued a statement in the second inning on Friday night. The young Indians starter slipped into a two-out jam with two runners aboard and was faced the the daunting task of taking on Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.

Salazar fired a 97-mph fastball that tailed over the plate and darted past Cabrera's bat. It was a critical strikeout to end the threat, setting the tone for an overpowering outing from the right-hander. Cleveland's offense followed suit with a surplus of support in a 13-1 rout over Detroit at Comerica Park.

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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.

Moss drives in 7, Salazar K's 11 in rout of Tigers

Moss drives in 7, Salazar K's 11 in rout of Tigers

DETROIT -- After Shane Greene gave up one earned run and posted three wins in as many starts, the Cleveland Indians made it look easy beating the Tigers righty. Brandon Moss homered twice as part of a seven-RBI outburst, sending Greene to his first loss and the Tigers to their fourth in a row as the Indians rolled to a 13-1 win Friday night at Comerica Park.

The 12-run margin was the first double-digit victory for the Indians over the Tigers since April 17, 2008. Detroit had won seven in a row against Cleveland, including three at Progressive Field two weeks ago, since Danny Salazar's shutout against the Tigers on Sept. 3.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Swisher notches 3 hits in first rehab game

Swisher notches 3 hits in first rehab game

DETROIT -- Nick Swisher collected three hits on Friday night in his first Minor League rehab game with Triple-A Columbus. The veteran outfielder is scheduled to suit up again for the Clippers on Sunday before heading back to Cleveland to plan the next portion of his comeback schedule.

"He's going to come into Cleveland Monday, work out with us and we'll kind of sit down with him," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Friday. "It'll be the first time we've seen him in person for a couple weeks. We'll kind of map out maybe the next week after that. He'll play a couple games before that and then we'll sit down and talk to him and kind of see where he thinks he is.

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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.

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.