Indians add bat with Cubs’ Fukudome

The Cleveland Indians, struggling to score runs and losing ground in the American League Central, have acquired outfielder Kosuke Fukudome from the Chicago Cubs.

Fukudome, in the final year of a four-year, $48 million contract, is batting .273 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 293 at-bats this season. He has a solid .374 on-base percentage but only a .369 slugging average.

The Cubs received two minor league players in the deal, outfielder Abner Abreu and right-handed pitcher Carlton Smith. Chicago will pay about half of the roughly $5 million Fukudome is owed for the rest of this season.

The Indians have gone 5-11 since July 8 and fallen from first place to second, two games behind the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland ranks just below the league average with 4.2 runs per game, but its outfield has been devastated by injuries to Grady Sizemore (knee, abdomen) and Shin-Soo Choo.

The Indians have a .225 team batting average and have averaged 3.6 runs a game during the 5-11 stretch.

Fukudome, a 34-year-old left-handed batter, had a limited no-trade clause and could have blocked a trade to the Indians, but he gave approval for the deal.