It might be almost a relief to some Indians observers that Scott Lewis was placed in the disabled list Saturday with a strained left elbow.
That would explain his sudden vulnerabiltiy Friday, when after delivering three scoreless innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, he gave up four runs (including two homers) in the next two.
"We found out after the game,'' manager Eric Wedge said, explaining when he learned of the seriousness of Lewis' injury. "I think it's more just muscle soreness in the forearm. He had as (MRI) scan this morning. He'll have to miss a start.''
The injury did not develop overnight, however.
"It bothered me in spring training,'' Lewis said. "I usually have some kind of soreness in the spring and am able to pitch through it.''
Lewis joins a DL that already includes Jake Westbrook, David Dellucci and Jamey Carroll.
REINFORCEMENTS -- Replacing Lewis on the roster is right-hander Vinnie Chulk, called up from Triple-A Columbus to help bolster a bullpen that has been overworked the past few days.
Chulk, 30, was signed to a minor-league contract that included an invitation to big-league training camp. In nine exhibition games, Chulk gave up only three runs and 10 hits in 15 2/3 innings.
In his first outing for Columbus, Chulk delivered two scoreles innings.
He didn't have to wait long to make his Cleveland debut. He relieved Cliff Lee in the sixth and worked 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run and four hits.
"He did a fantastic job for us today,'' Wedge said. "He was fantastic in spring training. He's the guy who deserved to come up here.''
When Lewis' turn in the rotation comes around again, no doubt the Tribe will summon Aaron Laffey or Jeremy Sowers to take that start and either Chulk or another reliever will be sent back to Triple-A.
CHULK TALK -- Chulk was happy just to make it through an outing without getting hurt.
"The last time this happened,'' he said, referring to a call-up by the San Francisco Giants last year, "I got hit in the arm in San Francisco. It was the first batter I faced, so it was nice to get in a couple of innings today.''
All spring he battled for the final spot in the bullpen only to lose to Zach Jackson.
"I knew I was competing for ajob,'' he said. "But I try not to think of who or what I'm competing for. I just tried to keep putting up zeroes.''
What did Wedge tell Chulk when he was sent to Triple-A? "He said to just keep doing what you're doing and stay positive and it wouldn't be long until I was back up here.''
OTHER STUFF -- The last time the Tribe started a season 0-5 was 1985. ... The offense is batting .128 with runners in scoring position, including 1-for-9 Saturday. ... Lee, 0-2, lost his second game last year on July 6. ... For his career, Lee is 1-4 with a 4.37 ERA in eight starts against the Blue Jays.
FARM FACTS -- Matt McBride doubled twice, singled and drove in two runs, but Kinston lost 10-9 to Winston-Salem. ... T.J. House pitched five scoreless innings, allowing two hits in Lake County's 4-1 loss to Hagerstown.
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