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Buehrle succumbs again to Garko

By Sheldon Published: May 13, 2009

   CLEVELAND: There is only a hint of smile on the face of Ryan Garko when it is suggested that he owns Mark Buehrle. ¶
   Garko hammered the first pitch he saw from the White Sox ace in the fourth inning over the left field wall of Progressive Field with Jhonny Peralta on first to push the Indians' lead to 3-0, an advantage that would finally culminate in a 4-0 win on Wednesday. ¶
   Although Garko had never homered against Buehrle before, he has two doubles and his career batting average against the left-hander is .500 (11-for-22). ¶
   Asked to explain his success, Garko said, ""If you look at the video, not every one of those hits was hit hard. Also, I've been seeing lefties pretty good.'' ¶
   Not that good. Coming into the game, Garko was batting .333 against all left-handers. ¶
   But Buehrle seems to be a special case, an excellent starter who never has had much success against Cleveland. ¶
""He throws strikes, and we're a pretty aggressive team,'' Garko said. ""That's part of it, and we also can run a lot of right-handers up there against him. The guy also is in our division, so we see him all the time.'' ¶
   The Indians continue to struggle, but they finally won a series for only the second time this season, beating Chicago Monday but losing Tuesday night. ¶
   ""It's not necessary that we win a bunch of games in row,'' Garko said. ""But we do need to win a bunch of series in a row. I think that will get us back to where we need to be. ¶
   ""Last night, everybody was so down (losing 7-4). Some of us were saying, "But we can still win the series.' '' ¶
   Winning consecutive games has been an issue for the Tribe, which has done it just once this year. Obviously, it is easier to capture series, if the club can string a few victories together. It is one more thing that has caused the mood in the clubhouse to fluctuate. ¶
   ""It's mostly been down,'' Garko said. ""We keep talking about it. The veterans keep saying that it's a long season. This is an important trip against three pretty good teams (Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Cincinnati), and then we have a lot of home games when we come back. ¶
   ""So we're leaving on a high note and hopefully, we'll come back on a high note.'' ¶
   THE NEXT MOVE -- Travis Hafner will test his right shoulder on a rehabilitation assignment at Columbus starting Friday. ¶
   Hafner has been on the disabled list since Apirl 29 because of soreness in the shoulder that was surgically repaired last October. ¶
   What is the timeline for Hafner's return to the active roster? ¶
   ""He has to go out and play,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""We'll find out how he handles that. He feels good, the soreness is gone. But we'll see how he deals with volume (of at-bats) before he comes back here.'' ¶
   BUNT BUSINESS -- The Indians have executed six sacrifice bunts. All six have led to runs, twice because runners scored on errors in succeeding at-bats. Three times, Grady Sizemore either singled or doubled to score the runner who was bunted to second, including Wednesday. ¶
   OTHER STUFF -- In has past 22 games, Victor Martinez is batting .402 with three home runs and 14 RBI. *elip  Cliff Lee's nine strikeouts were the most by a Tribe starter this season. *elip With 358 appearances, Rafael Betancourt has passed George Uhle to rank 10th the franchise's all-time list of games pitched. *elip The White Sox are the first team to be blanked by the Indians this year. Last year, Cleveland pitchers recorded 13 shutouts. ¶
 FARM FACTS -- Jordan Brown doubled twice and drove in one run in Columbus' 8-4 win over Lehigh Valley. Andy Marte had two singles and three RBI, and David Huff (5-1, 4.35 ERA) gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings. *elip Nate Recknagel hit his third homer of the season and drove in three runs, as Lake County beat Kannapolis 7-4. Joe Mihalic gave up one unearned run and three hits in six innings to lower his ERA to 1.91.

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