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Dice-K rolls; Rule 5 infielder returned to Rangers

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 27, 2013

  GLENDALE, Ariz.: Daisuke Matsuzaka was brought up from the minor-league camp to start today against the White Sox and gave up two runs and five hits, walking none in 5 1/3 innings.
  Dice-K did not give up a run until the fifth, when a bunt single and an error prolonged the inning, as the Tribe lost 5-4. 
   ”I thought he did a better job of establishing his off speed pitches,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “”He also managed his pitch count better.’’
  Asked about Matsuzaka’s velocity, the manager said, “”I didn’t even look. The hitters will let you know.’’
  Vinnie Pestano worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit, and Lonnie Chisenhall had two hits to raise his spring average to .426.  
   It was clear from the beginning of camp that the Tribe could not keep infielder Chris McGuiness on the active roster all season, as required of a player taken in the Rule 5 draft.
  The Indians also were unable to make a deal with the Rangers that would allow the Tribe to send McGuiness to the minors. Consequently, McGuiness was sent back to Texas.
  In 41 spring at-bats, McGuiness batted .195 with two doubles.
 

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McAllister hittable in loss to Athletics

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 26, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Zach McAllister didn't dazzle anyone in his final start of spring training today, but he showed a live arm, and he appears to be ready for the regular season, which begins Tueday.

    ""He had good life on his fastball,'' manager Terry Francona said. ""I think it gook him three inning to find his breaking pitch.

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Myers' meltdown triggers embarrassing Tribe loss

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 26, 2013

   SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.: Brett Myers has pitched poorly all spring, but never in his first four starts was he so rudely treated as he was Monday night, when the Rockies pummeled him 10 runs, 14 hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.
   Not surprisingly, the Indians lost 18-4 at Salt River Fields.
   Myers is being counted on to eat innings and keep the Tribe in games, but that has hardly been his pattern during exhibition season.
   In five starts, Myers has allowed 33 hits, three home runs and nine walks in only 16 innings for an 11.25 ERA. And  his ballooning ERA wasn’t solely the result of his troubled outing against Colorado. He came into the game with a 7.11 ERA.
   Myers got through the first inning without allowing a run, but in the second he faced 12 batters, giving up seven runs and eight hits, including Chris Nelson’s three-run homer.
   When he retired only one of the first four batters in the fourth, manager Terry Francona went to the bullpen for David Huff, who fared no better than Myers. In 1 2/3 innings, Huff was rocked for six hits and three runs. He also let in three that were charged to Myers.
   The Rockies’ onslaught continued when Rich Hill relieved Huff and gave up four runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.
   Spring training numbers don’t count for much and evaluating a pitcher on his performances in exhibition games is a dangerous practice. But assuming Myers is trying to get people out rather than merely polish his pitches, optimism among Tribe baseball officials can’t be high right now.
   Offensively, Michael Bourn doubled twice and scored; Mark Reynolds doubled, singled and drove in a run; Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall each had two hits, and Drew Stubbs doubled, scored and had an RBI on a ground out.
 

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Tribe sets roster -- with complications

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 25, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians set their 25-man roster today, but it won't stay that way for long. 

   The everyday players include Nick Swisher at first, Jason Kipnis at second. Asdrubal Cabrera at short, Lonnie Chisenhall at third plus outfielders Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs  in addition to Mark Reynolds at designated hitter.

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Giambi, Kazmir added to roster

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 25, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians' fifth starter is Scott Kazmir, but he won't pitch until April 6 in Tampa. Carlos Carrasco will be added to the roster for at least six days to serve his su\spension, but his status is uncertain after that.

   Jason Giambi has made the team as a reserve, and Nick Hagadone, Bryan Shaw and Ryan Raburn were added to the roster. Frank Herrmann has been placed on the 60-day disabled list.

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Capps released, might eventually return

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 25, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians released Matt Capps early this afternoon, but like Daisuke Matsuzaka, he might return after working out a new deal.

   Both Matsuzaka and Capps are major-league free agents who came to camp on minor-league contracts. Conesequently, they had the right to walk away on Tuesday if they were not part of the 40-man roster.

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Dice-K released

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 24, 2013

 The Indians released Daisuke Matsuzaka from the contract he signed Feb. 18 this afternoon.
   Last week the Tribe told Matsuzaka he would not win a berth in the rotation, but he agreed to go to the minors upon receiving a $100,000 retention bonus that bound him to the team until June 1. Otherwise he could have left March 26 and become a free agent.
   It is believed the Indians and Dice-K are working on a new deal that would keep him with the Tribe for a longer period of time. If he had made the 25-man roster, Matsuzaka would have earned $1.5 million for the season.
 

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Jimenez outing a plus in loss to Cubs

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 24, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Ubaldo Jimenez might be ready to put his disastrous season of 2012 behind him.

   Sunday, he gave up three runs, four hits and one walk in seven innings, as the Indians lost to the Cubs 4-3 at Goodyear Ballpark today.
   “”The progression continues for him,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “”He could have kept pitching , but I wanted to get Cody (Allen) in the game. So Ubaldo finished up in the bullpen. He continues to build. He’s been working on his delivery, and the results are showing up.’’
   One feature of Jimenez’s start was a sinker that produced nine ground ball outs.
“”Even if they square the ball up, it’s hard to keep the ball off the ground when he’s right,’’ Francona said. “”He doesn’t have to pitch to the sides of the plate. If he’s down with his pitches, he’s going to have success.’’ 
  Chris Perez, idled by a shoulder strain since early in camp, probaby will start the season on time. 
   Perez has been idled by a shoulder strain but has been working his way back, pitching an inning against the Dodgers’ Class A team at the minor-league complex on Saturday. 
 
   Until now, Francona has been noncommittal about the probability of Perez being ready for the season opener.

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Masterson victimized by his defense, as Tribe loses

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 23, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: How well did Justin Masterson pitch? 
Masterson gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in five innings, as the Diamondbacks defeated the Indians 7-5 at Goodyear Ballpark tonight.
But those numbers hardly tell the accurate story of Masterson’s outing. An error by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera in the second inning and another by third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall in the fourth gave Arizona four unearned runs.
Adding to the respectability of Masterson’s outing was the fact that he struck out seven, including Jason Kubel three times. He also retired five batters on grounds balls, and it would have been seven if not for the errors.
The offensive highlight for the Tribe was Mark Reynolds’ titanic home run that cleared the left-center field scoreboard, the top of which rises about 60 feet above the grassy seating area. There was no way to get an accurate reading of the home run’s distance, but it’s safe to say it traveled at least 460 feet.
Reynolds hit the blast in the sixth inning with Carlos Santana on base.
Joe Smith and Rich Hill each pitched a scoreless inning.  Altogether, Tribe pitchers struck out 12.

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Too much sun ruins Carrasco's outing

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 21, 2013

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.: What Carlos Carrasco needed was a few more clouds.

The Arizona sun got in the way of the Indians' starter, who otherwise would not have given up four runs and four hits in five innings, as the Diamondbacks fell 5-4 at Salt River Fields today.

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Bauer takes demotion in stride; Capps still deciding whether to stay with Tribe

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 21, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Manager Terry Francona said that Trevor Bauer took the the news of his demotion to Triple-A like a pro, but Scott Barnes ""took it a little hard.''

Bauer was was fighting for a spot in the rotation but was significantly behind Scott Kazmir and Carlos Carrasco.

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Indians send down Trevor Bauer, three others

By Ron Ledgard Published: March 21, 2013
Indians Angels Spring_Ledg

The Indians announced four roster moves, including sending down top prospect Trevor Bauer, who was trying to stick in the five-man rotation.

Here is the release:

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Jimenez puts lots of runners on but limits damage

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 18, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Ubaldo Jimenez delivered 5 1/3 innings and gave up only two runs but was still vulnerable as the Indians defeated the Brewers 4-2 today.

   In his fifth outing of the spring, Jimenez gave up seven hits and a walk in addition to hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch on which a run scored.

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Dice-K, Matt Capps won't break camp with Indians

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 18, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Not long after five players were sent back to the minor-league camp this morning, manager Terry Francona and General Manager Chris Antonetti had more player personnel news.

Catchers Brian Jeroloman and Omir Santos, infielder Luis Hernandez, outfielder Matt Carson, plus reliever Matt Capps and starter Daisuke Matsuzaka were informed they would not make the team out of spring training but were being kept in major-league camp.

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Indians option Juan Diaz and re-assign four more

By Ron Ledgard Published: March 18, 2013

The Indians announced some roster changes today. Here's the team's release:

 

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Five more head for minor-league camp

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 18, 2013

   GODYEAR, Ariz.: The lndians made five roster moves this morning.

   Shortstop Juan Diaz was optioned to Columbus, and right-handers Preston Guilmet, Matt Langwell and Joe Martinez plus outfielder Cedric Hunter -- all non-roster invitees -- were reassigned to the minor-league camp.

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Masterson overcomes bad first inning

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 17, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Justin Masterson had a horrid start but stuck around to throw five innings and 77 pitches, as the Indians and Reds played to a 7-7 tie today at Goodyear Ballpark.
   Xavier Paul hit a three-run homer and Todd Frazier whacked a two-run blast in the first inning, as Masterson gave up four hits and walked one before he retired the side.
   “”There were a couple of things,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “”First of all, he had his best stuff of the spring. He left a couple of balls up, but when he got the ball down like he wanted, he had a tremendous sinker.’’
   After the first, Masterson yielded only one hit and a walk through the fifth.
His problems in the first centered around a small flaw. He opened up his hips a shade too far and was not directing the ball to the target area. He discovered the problem and fixed it.
“”I threw some really good pitches then I hung one,’’ he said, referring to Paul’s homer. “”Frazier’s was just a high fly ball that you get in Arizona. Balls have been flying out of here the last couple of days.’’ 
   Francona said that he and Tribe staffers had extensive discussions about Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has fallen behind other starters and probably will have difficulty catching up because there aren’t enough innings to go around for more than six or serven starters.
“”We’ll probably talk with him tomorrow,’’ the manager said. 
   Scott Kazmir pitched in a Triple-A game today and gave up four runs (three earned), eight hits and one walk in five innings.
   Before today, he had not given up a run in 11 innings of work in exhibition games and Triple-A games. He has walked only three in 16 innings.
   Chris Perez (shoulder strain) will throw another bullpen Monday, following a 15-pitch bullpen Saturday.
   “”He’ll throw a monitored bullpen tomorrow,’’ Francona said. “”But after that, he’ll have a regular mound day. He’s doing really well. His intensity has exceeded what we were hoping for.’’
 

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Carrasco shines, as Tribe beats Giants

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 17, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Carlos Carrasco isn't ceding the fifth spot in the Indians' rotation to Scott Kazmir without a fight.

   In a 4-3 win over the Giants Saturday night at Goodyear Ballpark, Carrasco gave up one run, two hits and no walks in five innings. He also struck out five in his most efficient outing of exhibition season.

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Myers struggles in loss to Brewers

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 15, 2013

   PHOENIX: It;s only spring training and performances --- good and bad -- don't necessarily relate to what will happen once the regular season begins.

   But it might be more comforting to Indians fans if Brett Myers got a few more batters out in exhibition games. Myers made his fourth start of the spring today and gave up four runs, seven hits and three walks in four innings, as the Brwers gained a 4-3 win.

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Two more sent to minor-league camp; Perez, Dice-K throw Saturday

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 15, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians optioned first baseman Mike McDade to to Columbus and re-assigned infielder Nate Spears to ther minor-league camp, leaving 49 players in big-league camp.

 McDade batted .400 (12-for-30) with two doubles, one home run and 10 RBI in 16 exhibition games.

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No stopping the Royals, Tribe falls 5-3

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 14, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Things will likely be different in the regular season, but in spring training the Royals have been almost unbeatable.

   This afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark, they swatted away the Tribe 5-3 to run their record to 15-2-2 in exhibition games. By contrast, the Indians are a solid 12-7-1.

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Jimenez goes five in Tribe win; Phelps to increase versatility

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 13, 2013

   GLENDALE, Ariz.:Ubaldo Jimenez pitched five relatively strong innings, as the Indians defeated the White Sox 5-2 at Camelback Ranch.

   ""Ubaldo was pretty good,'' manager Terry Francona said. ""He really didn't throw his off speed pitches for strikes, but he only gave up two runs. I really hope that proves to him he can live pretty much with that fastball.''

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Indians' Frank Hermann undergoes surgery, out for season

By Ron Ledgard Published: March 13, 2013

The Indians announced this morning that relief pitcher Frank Hermann underwent elbow surgery. Here is the team's release.

 

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Indians-Angels tie; Dice-K leaves with cramp

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 11, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians and the Los Angeles Angels played to a 0-0 tie today at Goodyear Ballpark, and Daisuke Matsuzaka's outing was cut short by an injury.

After throwing a scoreless sixth, Matsuzaka began warming up in the seventh. Almost instantly, manager Terry Francona, one of the Tribe's trainers and Matsuzaka's translator trotted to the mound.

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Indians reduce spring roster by nine

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 11, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians trimmed nine more players from major-league camp this morning.

Pitchers Trey Haley, T.J. House, Chen-Chang Lee, Fernando Nieve and Danny Salazar returned to the minor-league camp. They were joined by position players Tim Fedroff, Matt LaPorta and Roberto Perez.

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Indians' entire 40-man roster under contract

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 11, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz. With 12 more players agreeing to terms and two others being renewed, the Indians' entire 40-man roster has been signed for the season.

Agreeing to one-year deals werre Scott Barnes, Ezequiel Carrera, Juan Diaz, Yan Gomes, Nick Hagadone, Frank Herrmann, David Huff, Jason Kipnis, Chen-Chang Lee, Mike McDade, Cord Phelps and Josh Tomlin.

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Myers fades in fourth during Tribe loss

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 10, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Brett Myers sailed through three innings before running into trouble, as the Indians lost 7-6 to the Rangers today at Goodyear Ballpark.

  Until giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits, including two doubles and Craig Gentry's home run in the fourth inning, Myers was throwing a shutout.

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McAllister impressive as Tribe routs Cubs

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 9, 2013

   MESA, Ariz.: Zach McAllister delivered his most efficient outing of the spring, as the Indians pounded the Cubs 9-2 today at HoHoKam Stadium.

   David Huff started the game and gave up a two-run homer to Javier Baez in three innings, then McAllister took over and pitched through the seventh. He did not allow a run, gave up three hits but no walks and struck out three.

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Brantley returns on Sunday

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 9, 2013

   MESA, Ariz.: Michael Brantley will return to the lineup on Sunday after missing 10 days because of a deep cut in his left arm that required 15 stitches to close.
   “”He’ll DH tomorrow and we’ll put him up near the top of the order so he can get two at-bats,’’ manger Terry Francona said. “”On Monday he’ll play left and get the next day off.’’
   Brantley sustained the injury when he was spiked sliding into third in a game against the Athletics.
 

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Stubbs stars in rainout

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 8, 2013

   SURPRISE, Ariz.: Today’s exhibition game between the Indians and Royals was canceled in the third inning because of rain but not before Drew Stubbs hit a towering home run and a double.
   “”That (home run) ball really jumped off his bat,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “”If anything was worth coming over here for, it was those two swings.’’
   Francona noted a little lethargy and a penchant for making mistakes in his team’s play.
“”We showed up looking like we weren’t really ready to play,’’ Francona said. “”It was kind of a teaching day.’’
   By that, the manager meant that there were things the club needed to review in light of the way they handled certain situations, botching a relay on a Kansas City sacrifice fly and allowing three steals in two innings.
   In talking about starter Corey Kluber, Francona said, “”He was a little deliberate today, and guys ran on him.’’
   Kluber was scheduled to throw four innings. He pitched two, and he kept throwing underneath the grandstand until he got to 65 pitches. Kluber gave up one earned run (three total) on three hits.
   The game was halted with one out and one run home in the top of the third. Royals officials waited more than an hour before canceling the contest with the Tribe trailing 3-2.
 

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Jimenez, Giambi, Swisher, Raburn come up big as Tribe beats Giants

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 7, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Ubaldo Jimenez had his best outing of the spring and the offense produced two home runs, as the Indians defeated the Giants 6-4 at Goodyear Ballpark.

   JImenez gave up one run on three hits, walking none and striking out two.

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Indians' Michael Brantley close to returning; Chris Perez might begin throwing Sunday

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 7, 2013

Outfielder Michael Brantley was scheduled to have the stitches removed from his left arm and participate in full workouts today.

"We'll probably let him go a couple of days when he does everything on the field,'' manager Terry Francona said this morning. "Maybe on Sunday he'll play three or four innings. That's probably pretty reasonable.''

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Indians Scott Kazmir makes repairs; Justin Masterson contributes to ''good day.''

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 6, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Scott Kazmir worked three innings (55 pitches) against a team of Tribe minor-leaguers today because of a balky slider.

He felt he could fix the problem easier in the low pressure atmosphere of a simulated game on a back field at the team's spring training complex.  

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Matsuzaka courts disaster but gets out of jams

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 5, 2013

   SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.: Daisuke Matsuzaka spent most of his three innings extricating himself from trouble, but in the end he allowed no runs and five hits as the Indians beat the Giants 4-3 at today at Scottsdale Stadium.
  Matsuzaka loaded the bases with one out in the first, but got out of the jam when Brandon Belt flied out, and Ryan Raburn threw out Kensuke Tanaka at the plate. With two on and one out in the second, Matsuzaka induced Hector Sanchez to bounce into a double play.
   “”There was a lot of luck to my outing today,’’ Matsuzaka said through a translator. “”But it’s important for me to get out of those kinds of jams.
   Added manager Terry Francona, “”What Dice-K can do is put men on base then get out of it. There’s no panic in him.’’
   Matsuzaka’s fastball was clocked mostly at 87-88 and occasionally touched 90.
   “”I thought I was throwing about that,’’ he said. “”More important than my velocity is that I felt like I was throwing faster. I am also getting my cutter closer to my fastball speed, and that’s another step forward.’’
   Nick Swisher hit his second home run of the spring and Juan Diaz hit his first, but it was Roberto Perez’s ninth inning homer that won it.
   “”The biggest thing for this team is to find its identity,’’ Swisher said. “”We have a lot of new guys here. Tito (Francona) doesn’t have many rules, but he does like us to be fundamentally sound.’’
  

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Three sent back to Indians minor-league camp

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 5, 2013

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.: The Indians made their first cuts of the spring, reassigning three players to the minor-league camp.

First baseman Jesus Aguilar, left-hander Edward Paredes and outfielder Jeremy Hermida and  were officially sent back to the minors, but Hermida will remain in major-league camp for about a week until minor-league exhibition games begin.

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Tribe attack overwhelms Cubs; Carrasco gets scare

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 4, 2013

   MESA, Ariz.: The Indians amassed 20 hits -- seven for extra bases -- in their 13-5 win over the Cubs today at HoHoKam Stadium.

   Lonnie Chisenhall, Mark Reynolds and NIck Swisher all homered to lead the offense. Swisher had three hits, including a double, and drove in four runs; Chisenhall also doubled, singled and had three RBI.

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Dodgers throttle Tribe attack

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 3, 2013

   GLENDALE, Ariz.: Josh Beckett set the tone by throwing three scoreless innings, as Dodger pitching shut down the Tribe, leading the way to a 5-1 win at Camelback Ranch.

   The Indians totaled only five hits, but Yan Gomes, one of the stars of the early exhibition season, doubled and walked in three plate appearances to lift his average to .417.

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Giambi destined to make Tribe roster?

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 3, 2013

   GLENDALE, Ariz.: – The more manager Terry Francona talks about Jason Giambi, the more it sounds like the 42-year-old slugger will make the team.
   “”He has a presence about him,’’ the manager said today. “”He doesn’t swing at bad pitches ever, and he still has his bat speed, so I’ve been impressed.’’
    In speaking about giving Giambi few at-bats against left-handers, Francona said, “”He’s not going to play versus left-handers this year.’’
   That can be interpreted to mean that Giambi will hit against right-handers. He can’t do that unless he’s on the club.

 

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Raburn goes deep again, but Tribe loses to Padres

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 2, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Ryan Raburn continued his hot streak at the plate, but the Indians loset 11-8 to the Padres this afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark.

   Raburn hit his fourth home run of the spring with two runners on base in the Tribe's six-run first inning, but the staff couldn't hold the lead.

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Two home runs propel Tribe to win over White Sox

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 1, 2013

   GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The bad news for Indians fans was that Justin Masterson, the team's Opening Day starter, gave up four runs snd six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

   The good news was the power outburst by Matt Carson and Mike McDade. Each hit a three-run homer to allow the Tribe to beat the White Sox 9-7 today at Goodyear Ballpark.

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Indians' Chris Perez, Frank Herrmann out with injuries

By Sheldon Ocker Published: March 1, 2013

GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Closer Chris Perez was scratched from today's exhibition game because of a subscapularis strain of his right shoulder.

He will cease throwing for 7-10 days and begin a throwing program when he is free of symptoms. The prognosis is for Perez to pifch in exhibition games in three to four weeks.

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