Damon's steady play a bright spot for Tribe

Damon's steady play a bright spot for Tribe

Damon's steady play a bright spot for Tribe
CLEVELAND -- Johnny Damon knows he's not the best defensive outfielder. The Indians signed him for his bat, not his glove.

But on a night when Cleveland did little right, Damon provided a bright spot with his defensive play in the third inning of Friday's 10-2 loss to the Orioles.

With the Indians trailing 7-1, Nick Markakis sent a tailing fly ball to left field that drifted into foul territory. Damon chased the ball from his post in left, and made an acrobatic catch as he tumbled into the stands.

"When it went up," Damon said, "it probably was close to being a fair ball. But the way the wind was going, I definitely had to check and see where the wall was. Fortunately for me, it was the low part of the wall, so I was able to get up and get over it without hurting myself too bad."

Even in a blowout, the veteran Damon managed to excite the Progressive Field crowd.

"Johnny's been a great example for all these kids," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "Even when he struggled earlier in the season, he's been the same guy and always played as hard as he can."

The play was eerily similar to the one involving Yankees outfielder Dewayne Wise when the Indians visited New York last month. The only difference was Wise failed to make the catch as he fell into the stands. A fan was seen waving the ball near where Wise had fallen, but the umpire -- assuming Wise had made the grab -- called Indians hitter Jack Hannahan out.

On Friday night, Damon didn't need to fool the umpire. He opened his mitt as he climbed out of the stands to prove he had the ball.

"But I didn't know where my hat was," Damon said with a laugh. "I was worried someone ran off with it."