CLEVELAND: In his first game back after the Indians called him up from Columbus on Sunday, Matt LaPorta struck out twice, lined to an oufielder and grounded into a double play.
The inauspicious start might have made some team officials pause about trading Russell Branyan to make room for LaPorta. But in his next two games, LaPorta had three hits in seven at-bats, including a home run and a double.
""We have high hopes for this kid,'' manager Manny Acta said. ""We don't want to say too much and put extra pressure on him, but he's done it his whole life, and there's no reason why he won't do it for us.''
LaPorta thinks fatigue might have had something to do with his poor performance at the plate Sunday in Cincinnati.
""I got here (from Columbus) at 2:30 in the morning, but that's just how baseball is,'' he said. ""If you're a hitter, you're going to hit in A-ball, Double-A, Triple-A and the big leagues. It's just a matter of having confidence and a good approach at the plate.''
Dr. Tom Graham flew in from Baltimore to check on the progress of his patient, Asdrubal Cabrera, who remains on the disabled list after fracturing a bone in his forearm.
""Asdrubal is right on target,'' Acta said. ""He'll continue to take ground balls the next few days until we determine when he can swing a bat.''