OAKLAND -- Ever since Manny Acta took over as the Indians' manager, he has emphasized the importance of being aggressive on the basepaths. Do not confuse that to mean stealing more bases.
What Acta has preached is finding a way to advance more than one base on singles, and scoring from first base on doubles. A young Cleveland team struggled in that area a year ago. This season, the Tribe is one of the best in the business.
"We pushed it hard last year," Acta said on Wednesday. "Just like our season last year, it took a while for those guys to buy into it. They were too young, and a lot of times they were afraid to make mistakes. Then, we got into Spring Training and we continued pushing it.
"We worked very hard in Spring Training on going first to third, taking extra bases, and basically telling these guys we have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain. The game has changed a lot. There's a lot of people that you can challenge, and put pressure on the defense.
"So far, that's been our motto, just, 'Go three. Go three. Go three.' And go from there. Put yourself in scoring position. Everybody here is buying into it."
Entering Wednesday, baserunners were scoring at a rate of 34 percent, which was the second-highest percentage in the American League. The Tribe's runners had advanced more than one base on hits 41 percent of the time -- a touch above the 39 percent league average.
Entering Wednesday, Indians runners had had moved at least two bases on a single 16 times, which was four behind league-leaders Chicago and Seattle (20 apiece). Only the Royals (15) had more runners score from first base on a double than the Indians (13). Cleveland also ranked second with 23 runners scoring from second base on a single.
"The main thing is going first to third on base hits," Acta said, "and being able to score from first on doubles and having big secondary leads. There are some teams that have done that for years, and whoever does that thing right has some advantage."