Lefties posing problems for Tribe hitters
The Indians concluded a disappointing six-game homestand Sunday with a 6-3 loss to Minnesota. The Indians lost four of the six home games against Kansas City and Minnesota, the teams with the two worst records in the American League.
The homestand was a missed opportunity for the Indians as well as the continuation of a slump that, given their upcoming schedule, threatens the Indians' season. For the remainder of the month of June the Indians only have six home games compared to 18 games on the road.
That may not necessarily be a bad thing, however, because the Indians have played much better on the road than they have at home. They are 16-16 at home and 12-9 on the road.
Their other problem is they continue to struggle against left-handed pitchers. They went into Sunday's game hitting .212 vs. left-handers, and then were beaten by Twins lefty Scott Diamond.
The Indians are now 4-12 in games their opponents start a left-handed pitcher.
"We have a lot of left-handers in our lineup and the majority of them hit better against right-handers," said Acta. "But even when we sneak some right-handed hitters into the lineup, they aren't hitting left-handers, either."
Acta said the best strategy for the Indians at this point, if they can't beat left-handers, is to beat as many right-handers as possible. The Indians are 24-13 vs. right-handers.
Brantley extends hitting streak to 12 games
--OF Michael Brantley was 2-for-4 Sunday, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. During the streak Brantley has hit .370, with 3 doubles and 10 RBI. It's the Indians' longest hitting streak since OF Trevor Crowe hit in 13 consecutive games in September of 2010.
--RHP Justin Masterson took the loss in the Indians' 6-3 loss to Minnesota Sunday. Despite the fact that he has a 5.09 ERA and has won just two of his 12 starts, Masterson has pitched at least six innings in eight consecutive starts, the longest such streak since Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, had a streak of nine games from July to September of last year.
--1B/OF Matt LaPorta was recalled from Class AAA Columbus Sunday to replace OF Johnny Damon, who was placed on the Paternity List. LaPorta, who lost the first base job to 1B Casey Kotchman in a spring training competition, hit .307 in Columbus, with 14 home runs and 32 RBI.
--OF Johnny Damon was placed on the Paternity List Sunday as he left the team to return to his home in Orlando to be with his wife and new-born daughters. Damon, who was hitting .180 with 1 home run and 5 RBI in 89 at bats, is expected to rejoin the Indians on Wednesday in Detroit, according to Manager Manny Acta.
--C Carlos Santana, who has passed all the MLB mandated post-concussion tests, did some running and throwing Sunday and may be sent to Class-A Lake County (Ohio) for a one-game rehab assignment on Monday. Manager Manny Acta said he is "very optimistic" that Santana will be activated off the disabled list and rejoin the Indians for a three-game series in Detroit that begins Tuesday. Santana was placed on the 7-day DL on May 26 with a mild concussion.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- Number of times over the last nine years that the Indians have placed DH Travis Hafner on the disabled list.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm not old. I'm olding." -- RHP Derek Lowe, celebrating his 39th birthday on June 1.
--C Lou Marson (cut on lip) was hurt May 27, and he didn't play May 28-30. He had his stitches removed May 31, and returned to the lineup June 1.
--C Carlos Santana (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list May 26. He did some hitting in the cage on June 1 and has passed all the MLB mandated post-concussion tests. He may be sent to Class-A Lake County (Ohio) for a one-game rehab assignment on Monday and could rejoin the Indians on Tuesday at Detroit.
--DH Travis Hafner (sore right knee) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24. He had surgery May 31 to repair a frayed meniscus, and he will be out until late June or early July.
--3B Jack Hannahan (left calf strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 27. He had been out May 14-23 due to lower back stiffness.
--LHP Rafael Perez (strained left lat muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 26.
--OF Grady Sizemore (back surgery in March 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list April 4. He was cleared to begin baseball activities in late April and took live batting practice May 16, but manager Manny Acta said he was unlikely to be ready June 3, the first day he'll be eligible to be activated. There is no timetable for Sizemore's return.
--RHP Carlos Carrasco (Tommy John surgery in September 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26. He might miss the entire season.