Kotchman ends slide with single

Kotchman ends slide with single

CLEVELAND -- When Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman lined a pitch into right-center field in the seventh inning on Friday night, Tribe fans might have let out a sigh of relief. As for Kotchman, he insists that the fact that he finally ended a brutal slump never crossed his mind.

"I really wasn't thinking about it," Kotchman said.

Kotchman's seventh-inning single helped ignite a rally that helped send Cleveland to a 3-2 victory over the Angels. It also snapped the first baseman out of an 0-for-24 funk that covered eight games.

Heading into Saturday, Kotchman was hitting .148 through 15 games. The first baseman said that his personal struggles were easier to handle right now, given that Cleveland sat atop the American League Central standings.

Kotchman -- a .306 hitter last season for Tampa Bay -- hit .200 on the Tribe's recent nine-game road trip, during which the team posted a 7-2 record. That showing as a club helped Kotchman look beyond his early-season issues at the plate.

"It's a long season," Kotchman said. "Winning has made it a lot easier. It would've been awful if were not winning games in the last week. That really softens the blow. We had that great road trip. It's like, who cares if I'm getting three hits a game if we went 1-8 on the trip? It's kind of irrelevant. You're happy and everyone else isn't. I'd rather have it where you're winning."