Brantley not changing approach batting third

Brantley not changing approach batting third

DETROIT -- Michael Brantley hasn't hit in the No. 3 spot much during his professional career, let alone at the Major League level.

But with the Indians struggling to score runs over the past few weeks, manager Manny Acta moved Brantley from the leadoff spot to the No. 3 hole on Monday. Brantley is 1-for-6 in the two games since being moved, and the team has scored one run -- which was scored by Brantley -- entering Wednesday's game. The outfielder said he isn't putting any more pressure on himself being in a position to drive in runs for a struggling offense.

"There's enough pressure in this game already, so you don't need to add any more pressure on yourself," he said. "It's really just trying to keep the even keel and stay ahead of the game, so stay positive and try to do the best you can for your team."

Before Acta moves players in the lineup, he said he talks to them and makes sure they don't change their approach. Brantley is hitting .297 in the leadoff spot in 45 games this year. Despite being in a position to drive in more runs, Acta isn't asking Brantley to change from anything he's done this year.

"I'm not asking Brantley to hit home runs or anything like that," Acta said. "I'm asking him to be Michael Brantley, hit third and explain to him that he's only going to hit third one time the whole game, which is going to be in the first inning. After that, he's just going to roll over.

"Same thing with [shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera], they're not going to change the way they're going to swing or anything like that. It's just that, right now, they're the two best clutch hitters on our club, and we want to make sure we have those guys up when we have guys on bases."