Salazar's 9 K's aren't enough to slow Royals

Salazar's 9 K's aren't enough to slow Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Eric Hosmer belted a three-run homer and Jason Vargas tossed his best outing of the season as the Royals held on for a 5-3 win over the Indians on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals ended a two-game skid and have not lost more than two straight since they dropped four in a row at the end of last August.

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

Swisher activated, in Tribe's lineup as DH

Swisher activated, in Tribe's lineup as DH

KANSAS CITY -- Nick Swisher had been waiting for this day since last August. Insider the visitors' clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium, the veteran Indians outfielder turned around in front of his locker and flashed a wide smile as reporters approached on Tuesday afternoon.

"Happy Opening Day," Swisher beamed.

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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 slated to sit against Royals left-handers

Bourn slated to sit against Royals left-handers

KANSAS CITY -- The return of Nick Swisher from the disabled list on Tuesday forced Indians manager Terry Francona to rethink his starting lineup. One of the changes in the opener of a three-game series against the Royals was moving center fielder Michael Bourn to the bench.

Francona indicated that Bourn would sit on both Tuesday and Wednesday due to facing Kansas City left-handers Jason Vargas and Danny Duffy, respectively. The skipper hinted that Bourn might remain on the bench against left-handed starters in the coming weeks.

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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 looking to remain hot against Royals

Carrasco looking to remain hot against Royals

Left-hander Danny Duffy will aim to remain undefeated and keep the Royals' hot start going in the second tilt of a three-game series against the Indians on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.

Duffy tamed the Tigers in his last outing, allowing only one run and striking out seven in seven innings en route to a win on Thursday in Kansas City. Cleveland will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who beat the Blue Jays behind six solid innings on Friday. The Tribe starter struck out six and allowed four runs.

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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.

Gomes aggressive in approach to injury rehab

Gomes aggressive in approach to injury rehab

KANSAS CITY -- A few hours before Tuesday's game against the Royals, Indians catcher Yan Gomes positioned himself behind the plate at Kauffman Stadium. Gomes moved into the crouch and then worked through a series of throws across the diamond to second base.

It was the latest step in Gomes' effort to expedite his return from the disabled list.

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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: Allen's struggles a cause for concern?

Beat reporter Jordan Bastian answers Indians fans' questions

Inbox: Allen's struggles a cause for concern?

How concerned are you with closer Cody Allen's struggles?
-- Anton T. (@1st_and_punt on Twitter)

There is definitely some level of concern over Allen's subpar start (10.00 ERA in 10 appearances), but it is still hard to make any concrete evaluations based on nine relief innings. Most pitchers go through a rough patch at some point during a season, and it might simply be that Allen is going through that out of the gates.

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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.

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

MLB reveals 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners

Mother's Day is Sunday, and for Melissa Rupert of Liberty Township, Ohio, it will be the first one to celebrate as the mother of a baby boy named Noah.

"He's my entire world," Rupert said. "Every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy, and I barely think about ... breast cancer."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians hope big inning serves as turning point

Team rallies from 6-1 deficit on strength of six-run fifth inning

Indians hope big inning serves as turning point

CLEVELAND -- It appeared as though the same issues that have ailed the Indians all season would trip them up once again on Sunday afternoon. Poor decisions on defense led to a six-run outburst by the Blue Jays in the fourth inning, creating the kind of hole that has been difficult for Cleveland's offense to overcome.

Instead, the Indians treated this game like a wake-up call.

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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.

Bats come alive to rally Tribe past Blue Jays

Bats come alive to rally Tribe past Blue Jays

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays posted a six-run inning for the second straight game on Sunday, but the Tribe had an impressive comeback in them this time around. After a six-run outburst of their own, the Indians kept piling on the offense en route to a 10-7 victory over Toronto at Progressive Field.

With the win, Cleveland salvaged a split of the four-game set with the Blue Jays.

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

Kipnis flourishing atop Indians' lineup

Second baseman goes 4-for-5 with HR in Sunday's win

Kipnis flourishing atop Indians' lineup

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis is now tasked with deciding what kind of tone to set for the Indians' lineup. As Cleveland's new leadoff hitter, the second baseman can either take an aggressive approach in his first at-bat, attacking early in the count, or try to see as many pitches as possible.

In the first inning of Sunday's 10-7 win over Toronto, Kipnis opted for the latter strategy. He made Blue Jays starter Drew Hutchison work through nine pitches, fouling off four, watching four and seeing a mix of fastballs and changeups. On the ninth pitch, Kipnis rolled over a changeup for a groundout, but he had laid the groundwork for his next few at-bats.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Chisenhall, Kluber receive GIBBY awards

Third baseman wins Hitting Performance; right-hander named Breakout Pitcher

Chisenhall, Kluber receive GIBBY awards

CLEVELAND -- Lonnie Chisenhall still doesn't have a concrete explanation for how things came together during his historic performance last June in a game against the Rangers, but when he does reflect back, he can't help but smile.

It goes without saying that Chisenhall was seeing the ball well that day. Very well. But there are plenty of days when he feels comfortable at the plate, and these aren't the results. So rather than try to pick apart every pitch, every swing and every play, Chisenhall just shrugs and chalks it up to one of those days -- an historic and perhaps once-in-a-lifetime day, one that produced three home runs, nine RBIs and hits in all five of his at-bats.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kluber adjusting to working with Perez

In four starts together, right-hander has 5.68 ERA as Gomes recovers from knee injury

Kluber adjusting to working with Perez

CLEVELAND -- Indians ace Corey Kluber formed a cohesive bond with catcher Yan Gomes last year that resulted in a special season and an American League Cy Young Award. Since Gomes has landed on the disabled list with a knee injury this year, Kluber's performance has slipped.

Kluber admitted that he and catcher Roberto Perez -- as would be expected under the circumstances -- are currently going through an adjustment period.

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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.

Tough sixth inning sends Tribe to loss

Tough sixth inning sends Tribe to loss

CLEVELAND -- The Blue Jays capitalized on an off night from ace Corey Kluber and an ill-timed error by Cleveland, scoring six unearned runs in the sixth inning to run away with an 11-4 win over the Indians on Saturday at Progressive Field.

Jose Bautista collected a pair of hits and four RBIs, Russell Martin launched his fourth home run of the season and Kevin Pillar came through with two hits in the sixth inning, helping power Toronto to its second victory in this four-game set. The offensive outpouring helped righty Aaron Sanchez (2-2) earn a win, despite walking six in 5 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays.

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

Kluber fighting through early-season struggles

Reigning Cy Young winner drops to 0-4 after Saturday's loss to Blue Jays

Kluber fighting through early-season struggles

CLEVELAND -- The expectation for Corey Kluber this season was an electric start. Given the way he finished off hitters and closed out his season a year ago, it was easy to think that his encore would follow the dominant path he traveled down last summer.

As Kluber walked off the mound at Progressive Field on Saturday, it is suddenly easy to wonder what is going wrong with Cleveland's ace.

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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.

Heated pep talk turns Carrasco's night around

Right-hander recovers after slow start to fan six over six innings in Friday's win

Heated pep talk turns Carrasco's night around

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway decided the time had come to deliver Carlos Carrasco a stern message. After Toronto's Kevin Pillar delivered a two-run triple off the pitcher in the third inning on Friday night, Callaway emerged from the dugout and headed to the mound.

Callaway was as aggressive with his words as he wanted Carrasco to be with his pitches. During the chat, the pitcher looked down as the pitching coach emphatically pointed a finger at him. Asked what he said to the right-hander, Callaway cracked a smile on Saturday morning.

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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.

Home runs power Indians past Blue Jays

Home runs power Indians past Blue Jays

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Brett Hayes each launched a home run for the Indians, who churned out 13 hits in a 9-4 victory over the Blue Jays on Friday night at Progressive Field.

Cleveland, which entered the evening with a 1-8 record against left-handed starters this season, pounded veteran southpaw Mark Buehrle (3-2) for eight runs over 4 1/3 innings. Kipnis led off with a homer off Buehrle in the first inning, Brantley belted a two-run blast in the fourth and Hayes added a three-run shot off reliever Andrew Albers in the fifth. Albers was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo after the game.

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

Month of May welcome sign for Indians' lineup

Team breaks out with three home runs in Friday's win over Blue Jays

Month of May welcome sign for Indians' lineup

CLEVELAND -- The Indians had been waiting for this day. As the offense continued to drag deeper into April, Cleveland's players were looking forward to a symbolic clean slate. The players were ready for the first month of the season to officially shift to the rear-view mirror.

"I can't tell you how much a different calendar month does for a baseball player's psyche," Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis said. "When you say it turns a page, it really does."

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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 settles down after early struggles

Right-hander fans six over six innings, shows no ill effects fielding comebacker

Carrasco settles down after early struggles

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Carrasco watched from the mound as Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey made hard contact with a fastball and sent it sharply up the middle. The pitcher quickly moved to his left, stabbed at the ball and gloved it cleanly.

Carrasco gathered himself, threw to first base for an out and put the final touch on a solid six-inning effort.

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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.

Indians place House on disabled list

Outfielder Holt recalled from Triple-A Columbus

Indians place House on disabled list

CLEVELAND -- One day after his fourth straight rough start for the Indians, left-hander TJ House was placed on the disabled list due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

Prior to Friday's game against the Blue Jays, Cleveland put House on the 15-day DL and recalled outfielder Tyler Holt from Triple-A Columbus to add some depth to the Major League bench. The Indians did not need to promote a replacement starter yet for House, considering they will not need a fifth starter until May 9 against the Twins.

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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.

Offense goes quiet in loss to Blue Jays

Offense goes quiet in loss to Blue Jays

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Pillar provided the Blue Jays with a clutch hit and a stellar catch, helping lead Toronto to a 5-1 victory over the Indians on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at Progressive Field.

"That's his game," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He plays to win, and plays like that help you win."

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

Salazar rediscovering success with curveball

Right-hander coming off seven-strikeout performance in win over Royals

Salazar rediscovering success with curveball

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have studied Danny Salazar's past in an effort to improve his future. Over the course of his three starts this season, Salazar has been increasingly turning to a curveball, which was a pitch he threw and then abandoned as a Minor Leaguer a few years ago.

As Salazar's slider had decreased in effectiveness in recent seasons, Cleveland pitching coach Mickey Callaway wanted to revisit the young right-hander's curve. Salazar has been finding a comfort level with the old pitch, which might eventually supplant the slider as his main breaking ball.

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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.

Kipnis proves he is healthy by showing off power stroke

Indians second baseman homers exactly one year after tearing his right oblique

Kipnis proves he is healthy by showing off power stroke

CLEVELAND -- One year ago, Jason Kipnis took a painful swing that resulted in the most trying season of his career. On Wednesday night, the Indians second baseman took a swing that helped power his team to a much-needed victory.

Kipnis continued his roll on Friday, hitting a leadoff home run in the Indians' 9-4 win over the Blue Jays.

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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.

Hot start could send Brantley back to All-Star Game

Hot start could send Brantley back to All-Star Game

CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley leads the cast of nine Indians hitters on the ballot for the 2015 All-Star Game, which will be played on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Brantley, 27, made his first All-Star Game appearance last season, and he is off to a hot start again this year.

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

Salazar making transition from thrower to pitcher

Salazar making transition from thrower to pitcher

CLEVELAND -- It's been a work in progress with Danny Salazar.

The fastball has always been there. The fastball has always been electric. Its 95-mph average velocity has consistently been one of the highest marks in the Majors.

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

Kipnis, Perez lead Indians to win over Royals

Kipnis, Perez lead Indians to win over Royals

CLEVELAND -- Second baseman Jason Kipnis launched his first home run of the season and collected four RBIs, helping power the Indians to a 7-5 victory over the Royals on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

On the one-year anniversary of an oblique injury that plagued his offensive production last season, Kipnis belted a three-run homer off Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura in the third inning and added a run-scoring groundout in the sixth. The four RBIs matched a career high for Kipnis, who recently moved into the leadoff spot for the Tribe.

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

Francona takes responsibility for bullpen issues

Francona takes responsibility for bullpen issues

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona has maintained a good sense of humor over the past few years about how often he uses his bullpen. With the relief corps struggling through the first month of this season, the situation is no longer a laughing matter.

On Wednesday, Francona was willing to shoulder the blame, if the bullpen's early struggles were in any way the result of how the group has been used in the past two years.

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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.