GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The ball jumped off the bat, and two vastly different thoughts had to be running through the heads of the pitcher and the hitter. Fausto Carmona hoped this home run off the bat of Lonnie Chisenhall was just an early spring hiccup as he continues to search for his 2007 form, while Chisenhall hoped it was the first of many productive at-bats in an Indians uniform. For now, Chisenhall's solo shot Wednesday was merely an early highlight of the Indians' second and final intrasquad tuneup before Cactus League play begins against the Reds on Friday. And for the record, Smitty's American Racers, coached by third-base coach Steve Smith, topped Sarby's Sour Balls, coached by Triple-A manager Mike Sarbaugh, by a 5-3 count in the 6 1/2-inning affair at Goodyear Ballpark.
Carmona was, of course, just getting his work in. And his work this spring includes an attempt to gain effectiveness against left-handed hitters by shifting to the first-base side of the rubber. Manager Manny Acta said he was going to suggest that move to Carmona when he visited him in the Dominican over the winter. But Acta was pleased to find that Carmona's winter ball teammate at Aguilas, Jose Lima, had already made the suggestion. "It worked for him in winter ball," Acta said. "It was only 13 innings, but it worked. ... Being on that side of the rubber gives him a better opportunity to hit both sides of the plate." Carmona worked one inning in the intrasquad, and Chisenhall's blast was all that marred it. Carmona struck out Travis Hafner on a nice changeup. And the home run pitch didn't bother Acta, because it came when Carmona was trying to challenge Chisenhall with a first-pitch fastball. Acta was also quick to give credit to Chisenhall for pouncing on the pitch. It was not a bad first impression for Chisenhall to make in his first game activity in his inaugural Major League camp. Later, he added a single and scored a run off Hector Rondon.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.