Notes: Tribe's tricky schedule

Notes: Tribe's tricky schedule

CLEVELAND -- The Indians already have played three "home" games in Milwaukee last month.

And come September, it appears they'll play at least one more on the road. This time, in Seattle's Safeco Field.

Though no firm details have been announced, Casey Blake, the Tribe's players' union representative, confirmed Tuesday that at least one of the four snowed-out games against the Mariners from early April will have to be played when the Indians visit Seattle during the last week of the regular season.

Obviously, that's an issue the Indians' fought, but it appears to be the only solution, according to Blake.

"We're going to have to wear it," Blake said. "Both teams have to hang with 'em and find a way to get it done."

The Indians, Mariners and Major League Baseball got together on a conference call Tuesday afternoon to try to make headway on the rescheduling of the two clubs' snowed-out, four-game series at Jacobs Field. But the call, which lasted at least an hour, did not result in any definitive answers.

It's believed the mutual off-dates of May 21 and June 11 are being discussed as possible makeup dates at The Jake, but nothing is confirmed.

"Both parties are trying to steer clear of playing any doubleheaders, if at all possible," Blake said.

The Indians would love to have this matter wrapped up, but it's complicated by the fact that the Mariners also will have postponed games to make up in Boston and Texas this year.

"It's been one heck of a process," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said.

Big Ben on board: Ben Francisco was told Monday night he'd be called up to the big leagues from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, so he had plenty of time to digest the news.

"Maybe too much time," Francisco said with a laugh.

Francisco had waited his whole life for that call, and then he had to wait a little longer. But his first exposure to the Majors finally arrived Tuesday afternoon, when he replaced Fausto Carmona on the active roster.

Francisco's performance in Spring Training was one of the highlights of the Tribe's big-league camp. He hit .293 (12-for-41) with three homers and five RBIs in 21 games.

"I knew I didn't have much of a shot at a big-league job," he said. "I just wanted to open some eyes, and I feel I did that."

The 25-year-old Francisco, who can play all three outfield spots, has hit .299 (20-for-67) with a homer, nine RBIs, six doubles and seven stolen bases with the Bisons in April.

He was given the call-up over fellow right-handed batter and outfielder Franklin Gutierrez, who is batting .370 (20-for-54) with two homers and six RBIs for Buffalo.

"We definitely had conversations about [Gutierrez]," Wedge said. "But for what we need, we felt Ben was the right guy right now."

The key phrase there is "right now," because Francisco's stay could be a short one. The Indians will have to make another roster move before Thursday's game against the Blue Jays to clear room for left-hander Cliff Lee. They'll likely send either Francisco or the left-handed-hitting Shin-Soo Choo back down to Buffalo at that point, depending on the upcoming starting pitchers they'll be facing.

"A lot of it is going to be who we're facing and how everything lines up, pitching-wise," Wedge said. "We'll see how it plays out."

In protest: In addition to the scheduling mess, the Indians also are waiting for the league to get back to them about the protest from Saturday night's loss to the Orioles.

MLB must make a ruling on the protest by the end of the week. The Indians are disputing the umpires' ability to add a run to the scoreboard three innings after it actually scored.

If the protest is upheld, the league would have to decide whether to let the run stand and have the two teams resume the game from the top of the third inning, when it was scored. Or the league could decide the run should not have been added after the fact, thus resuming the game in the bottom of the sixth, when it was tacked on.

"You never know with something like that," Wedge said. "We're still holding out hope [the protest will be upheld]."

Here's the question ... The Indians tied a Major League record by using 59 players in a single season. Do you know which season that was?

Tribe tidbits: MLB donated $50,000 to Bluffton University, near Toledo, as part of the school's effort to honor its 2007 baseball team. The money will go toward a permanent memorial and other refurbishments at the newly named "Bluffton University Memorial Field," which will pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the March 2 bus accident that occurred when the team was traveling to a game. The Indians have donated $1,000 and new gloves to Bluffton and are working to organize a day when the team can pay a visit to Jacobs Field. ... Third baseman Andy Marte, on a rehab assignment at Buffalo, still was feeling soreness in his strained left hamstring, so he was pulled out of his start at Pawtucket after two at-bats on Monday night.

Down on the farm: Second baseman Joe Inglett's seventh-inning grand slam broke a 4-4 tie and sent Buffalo to a 12-4 win over Pawtucket. Left-hander Juan Lara got the win by pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. ... Double-A Akron shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .338 with two homers and three doubles, and he leads the Eastern League with 20 runs scored. ... Third baseman Wes Hodges homered twice in Class A Kinston's 10-4 win over Lynchburg. ... Right-hander Steven Wright gave up just two runs on six hits over six innings, as Class A Lake County rolled to a 10-4 win over Hickory.

And the answer is ... The Tribe used 59 players in the 2002 season.

On deck: The Indians and Jays continue their three-game set at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Right-hander Jake Westbrook (1-2, 7.96 ERA) will oppose right-hander Victor Zambrano (0-1, 5.06 ERA).

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