Fukudome finding comfort level with Tribe

Fukudome finding comfort level with Tribe

ARLINGTON -- It took a little bit of time, but outfielder Kosuke Fukudome appears to be getting used to life with the Indians in the American League.

Cleveland acquired Fukudome in a trade with the Cubs on July 28, with the hope that he could provide a young offense with some experienced, professional at-bats out of the lineup's sixth spot. Over the past week, Fukudome has done just that for the Tribe.

"I think that I'm starting to get used to my teammates and the team," Fukudome said through interpreter Hiro Aoyama. "I'm starting to think about what I can do to contribute to the team."

During the ninth inning of Saturday's 7-5 win over the Rangers, Fukudome delivered a leadoff double that set the stage for a four-run rally. That comeback erased a 4-3 deficit and helped Cleveland pick up a much-needed victory.

Entering Sunday's finale in Texas, Fukudome was hitting .345 (10-for-29) with three doubles, three runs scored, two RBIs and an .815 OPS over his past seven games for the Indians. That showing came after an 0-for-7 introduction to the American League.

Indians manager Manny Acta said comfort has been the key.

"It's just a matter of him getting more at-bats here," Acta said, "and getting more comfortable around his surroundings, his teammates, the league and all that. He's swung the bat a lot better the last [few] games. Every bit of offense is welcome."