Bourn back in leadoff spot after coming off DL

Bourn back in leadoff spot after coming off DL

CLEVELAND -- Michael Bourn has spent nine seasons in the big leagues, been to a pair of All-Star Games and played in the postseason. Even with all that experience, the Indians center fielder was fighting some nerves on Saturday.

"I'm hoping my jitters won't be going too much," Bourn said with a laugh before the Indians' 6-0 win over the Orioles. "They probably will. I haven't played in five weeks, so you miss it while it's gone. It's just like anything else in life. I'm just excited to be back and playing."

In his first game back following a stint on the disabled list due to a left hamstring injury, Bourn started in his customary spots at leadoff and center field. He went 0-for-2 with a walk, a run scored and a sacrifice bunt.

In the first inning, Bourn led off with a free pass against Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez and later scored in the frame. His bunt in the fifth moved Chris Dickerson from second to third base, setting up an RBI single for Jose Ramirez.


Indians manager Terry Francona noted that Bourn will be eased back into things, but he might play Sunday due to a scheduled off-day coming Monday.

Francona was thrilled to pencil Bourn back into the batting order.

"It's good, because of a couple things," Francona said. "One, it's nice to have Bourny back. But now, you look at our lineup and ... it gives us a little deeper lineup. It doesn't mean you're going to score, but I think we've positioned ourselves where we have a thicker lineup."

Through 66 games with the Indians this season, Bourn has hit .267 with three home runs, nine doubles, seven triples, 21 RBIs, 37 runs scored and seven stolen bases. In a Minor League rehab stint, the outfielder went 2-for-23 at the plate between stops with Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.

Bourn shrugged off that poor statistical showing in the Minors.

"I felt OK. Some at-bats, I felt good, some I didn't," Bourn said. "But it's a different atmosphere. It's a different level here. To me, the pitching is different. I don't know how else to put it. I count those at-bats, because you get to see pitches, but other than that, whether I get a hit or not [in a Minor League rehab game] doesn't even matter to me."

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