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Cleveland Indians

Bunt hits are Brantley's game

By Sheldon Published: September 19, 2009

Michael Brantley has foot speed, but he still needs to refine his techniques. That doesn't just mean stealing bases.

""I'm a bunter, and I have to start taking advantage of my speed that way,'' he said, referring to bunting for hits. ""I didn't have as many bunt hits in the minors as I should have this year, but it's something I want to do.''

Brantley made an error in center field when he failed to pick up a single cleanly and intends to make amends.

""'I'm going to take extra ground balls so that doesn't happen to again,'' he said.

CABRERA RETURNS -- Asdrubal Cabrera returned to the lineup after missing two games with a bruised knee.

""I wouldn't say he's 100 percent, but he's good enough to play,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""I hope he'll be 100 percent by Tuesday.''

That's when the Indians begin the final homestand of the year.

EXPERIMENT OVER? -- Andy Marte has started only one game on this trip, which might indicate that Wedge has seen enough of him to make an evaluation.

The priority now seems to be to get as long a look as possible at Matt LaPorta at first base, a wide open position for next season.

""We want to see LaPorta and we also want to see Trevor Crowe play as well,'' Wedge said.

When Crowe plays left field, the only way for LaPorta to be in the lineup is to play first base.

OTHER STUFF -- The one-inning start was the shortest of Sowers' career. His previous low a two innings against the Orioles on May 5, 2007. ... Jhonny Peralta is hitless in his past 18 at-bats.

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