Kipnis thriving in three-hole for Tribe's offense

Kipnis thriving in three-hole for Tribe's offense

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Manny Acta doesn't see Jason Kipnis as a future No. 3 hitter, but the second baseman sure looks comfortable at that spot in the lineup.

Kipnis, who usually hits second, moved down a spot for three games from Saturday through Monday to fill in for the injured Asdrubal Cabrera. Kipnis was 7-for-13 with two home runs and six RBIs in those three games.

"It's fun," Kipnis said of hitting third. "I try to have the same approach no matter where I am in the order. I'm just fortunate enough to be hitting well when they made the switch."

Kipnis has been one of the Indians' most consistent hitters all season. Entering Wednesday, he was hitting .281 with a team-leading eight home runs, 30 RBIs and 55 hits. It's because of Kipnis' success that Acta was able to move Shin-Soo Choo out of the middle of the order and into the leadoff spot.

"Right now, [Kipnis] is there [offensively]," Acta said. "He's using the whole field and squaring the ball up. He's hitting them where they're pitching them. That's a sign of a good hitter. That's what the good hitters do."

While he's capable of hitting the ball out of the park on any given at-bat, Kipnis is also willing and able to lay down a sacrifice bunt or take a walk and steal a base to help the team out.

"He's one of those 'whatever it takes' kind of guys," Acta said.

"That's what I try to pride myself on," Kipnis said. "If I'm not hitting too well, maybe I can lay down a bunt or maybe I can draw a walk, or something. Just find some way to get on base."