Notes: Seeking focused at-bats

Notes: Seeking focused at-bats

CINCINNATI -- Manager Eric Wedge knows what he's looking for in his hitters: controlled, focused intensity with each at-bat.

That's what he says has been missing on an Indians team that continues to lag at the bottom of the American League in batting average (.237) and runs scored (159).

Above anything else, it's those numbers that have been at the root of the problems for the Tribe, which finds itself 12 games behind the first-place White Sox in the Central Division.

With May almost at its end, Wedge surely doesn't want his 17-23 ballclub to lose more ground to the red-hot White Sox in a 2005 season in which the organization had said the Indians would be contending in their division.

As he analyzed the problem, Wedge was quick to point out the inability of his hitters to play smart baseball. A glaring example of that came in the 2-1 loss Friday night, though the hitters weren't in top form Saturday night either.

"When it's a hitter's count, you've gotta be ready to get after it," Wedge said. "If it's two strikes, you've gotta stick your nose in there and battle.

"I mean, if it's a situational thing, you've gotta do what you gotta do to help your team. These are things that happen."

Here's the question: Including C.C. Sabathia, the Indians have had four pitchers that have homered in Interleague play. Can you name the other three pitchers? (See answer below.)

Quotable: "Unfortunately, sometimes we're reminded of how trivial it is what we do." -- Aaron Boone

Did you know: Enrique Wilson was the last Indians player to hit an inside-the-park homer. Wilson did it against Yankees right-hander Orlando Hernandez on May 21, 2000.

By the numbers: The Indians are tied with the Pirates for the fewest games in the big leagues at home. Both teams have played 17 home games. ... The Indians are 9-0 when they score six or more runs and 15-6 when scoring four or more runs. ... The Indians are now 4-19 when being outhit by an opponent. ...The Indians are 3-8 against left-handers, and the Tribe is 15-15 against right-handers. ... As a team, the Indians are hitting .242 against right-handers and .225 against left-handers. ... The club is hitting .217 (96-for-443) from the seventh inning on. ... The Indians are 5-12 on the year in one-run games and 25 of 41 games have been decided by two runs or less. ... The Indians are batting .227 (73-for-322) with seven homers and 105 RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Tribe tidbits: On Sunday, Wedge started Ryan Ludwick in left field against a right-hander for the first time this season. The move was aimed mostly at resting Jody Gerut, who's replaced the injured Coco Crisp as a starting outfielder. "He's not gonna play seven days in a role," Wedge said of Gerut. "So the most logical time to give him a day off is a day game after a night game, especially when he's still working his way back." ... Indians fans can buy tickets for home games at The Jake through the Internet at, at the Jacobs Field box office, at the seven Cleveland Indians Team Shops in Northeast Ohio and through the phone center (1-866-48-TRIBE). ... The Tribe is 20-15 in the rivalry against the Reds. ... The Indians will play host to the Reds on the backend of the annual home-and-home intrastate series June 24-26. ... On June 24, one fan will drive home in a 2005 Ford Mustang on "Ultimate Car Giveaway Night." ... On June 25, the Indians will feature Victor Martinez Bobblehead Night (first 20,000 fans) and fireworks after the game. ... On June 26, the Tribe will hold its Kids Fun Day, a promotion that features Player Trading Dog Tags for all kids 14 and under. ... Juan Gonzalez is scheduled Monday to DH for Triple-A Buffalo as he begins his rehab assignment in the Minors. Gonzalez is expected to spend about two weeks in the Minors before coming back to the big leagues.

On this date: In 2002, left-hander Chuck Finley pitched a masterpiece, only to have his work come up second best to Tigers ace Jeff Weaver's performance. Weaver held the Tribe to one hit, beating Finley and the Indians, 2-0, in Comerica Park.

And here's the answer: The other three pitchers were Dave Burba in 1998, Dwight Gooden in 1999 and Jason Davis in 2004.

On deck: The Indians will open a four-game series at The Jake against the Twins on Monday. Scott Elarton will start for the Tribe against right-hander Kyle Lohse.

Justice B. Hill is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.