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Bourn providing some unexpected pop lately

Bourn providing some unexpected pop lately

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Bourn providing some unexpected pop lately

CLEVELAND -- When the Indians signed Michael Bourn to a four-year deal in the offseason, they figured a premier leadoff hitter had been added to the fold. The club didn't court Bourn for his power, which makes his recent production all the more satisfying.

After going deep twice in the first half of April, Bourn missed 21 games with a lacerated finger and went all of May and June without a home run. Over the Tribe's past three games, Bourn has doubled his season total.

Bourn drilled the second pitch from Texas starter Yu Darvish over the right-field fence to power Cleveland to a 1-0 victory on Saturday. Two games before, Bourn hit his first career grand slam during the Tribe's 10-1 win in Seattle.

"I don't have any certain thing that I'm trying to do," Bourn said. "I just try to put the bat on the ball. That's about it.

"I'm not going to say I'm never, ever thinking about hitting a home run, because that always crosses every player's mind every now and then."

Bourn has hit safely in five straight games and nine of the last 10. He is batting .333/.415/.556 over his last 10 contests, with 12 RBIs and six runs scored.

His home run off Darvish was the seventh leadoff long ball of his career.

"Every now and then, you get a pitch that you can hit and you really catch it, but I'm not going to lean on trying to hit leadoff home runs all the time," Bourn said. "If it's something that I can catch, and I really put a good swing on it, then that happens. But, just leading off the game with a home run, trying to do that, I'm not trying to do that."

Of course, going yard isn't high on the list of Bourn's priorities. As a leadoff hitter, he's simply trying to get on base and move into scoring position, setting up the rest of the order. Bourn, who led the National League in steals in 2009 and '10 and paced all of baseball in '11, is just as happy trotting around the bases as he is with swiping a bag or two and coming home on somebody else's hit.

"It's easier on the body," Bourn said. "I enjoy both of them. It doesn't matter either way. You're trying to score, trying to get runs on the board. That's about it. Other than that, I use whatever I have to use to try to do that."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Mark Emery is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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