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Cleveland Indians

Lewis wins, then stumbles

By Sheldon Published: March 26, 2009

One day a pitcher learns he has made the rotation and the next he is shelled in an exhibition game.

That was the case with Scott Lewis Thursday. On Wednesday, he was declared the winner in the battle for the final spot in the Indians' rotation. The next day, he stumbled through three innings, allowing  five runs, eight hits and two walks.

Three of the hits were home runs, hit consecutively in the third inning by Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter, as the Angels beat the Tribe 8-5 at Goodyear Ballpark.

"Scott just wasn't able to get the feel of the baseball and throw the ball where he wanted to,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""He's had such a great camp. Maybe he was just due for a game like this.''

Coming into the game, Lewis had given up six earned runs in 15 1/3 innings

Elsewhere, there was improvement by Indians pitchers. Masa Kobayashi, who has had a fitful spring, delivered two hitless innings, striking out four. Edward Mujica, who is trying to rally from horrid early spring performances, gave up one run on one hit -- Hunter's second homer -- in two innings. ¶
 
"Masa was better last time and got even better today,'' Wedge said. ""His arm speed was better. And his action on the baseball was better for all three pitches (fastball, slider, split).''

Kobayashi seemed to be pitching himself off the team before his last outing.

"We just felt like it was time for him to turn it up, and he's done that,'' Wedge said.

Outfielders and infielders had trouble catching fly balls because of a 23 mile-per-hour wind that gusted up to 37 mph.

IT MATTERS -- It's been said for years that Arizona is tougher on pitchers than Florida in spring training.

Statistics bear that out. The aggregate earned-run average of pitchers training in Florida this year is 4.42 compared to 5.68 in Arizona. Moreover, 10 of the top individual ERAs belong to pitchers based in Florida.

One Indians pitcher cracked the top 13, Fausto Carmona, in 11th place with a 1.69 ERA. Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals is first with a 0.00 ERA. St. Louis trains in Jupiter, Fla.

Going into Thursday's action, Atlanta, based in Florida, has the No. 1 ERA (3.40 ERA) of any team. Cleveland is 25th with a 5.78 ERA.

NEW ADDITION -- The Tribe claimed right-hander Jae Kuk Ryu from the Padres Thursday, outrighted him to Columbus and assigned him to the minor-league camp.

Ryu, 25, made five starts for Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate at Durham last year and posted a 1-2 record and 4.38 ERA  His season ended when he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow July 1. He was claimed off waivers in January by San Diego.

The South Korean native has a minor-league career record of 42-34 with a 3.52 ERA in 114 starts and 23 relief appearances.

He pitched in 28 games for the Cubs and Rays, posting a 1-3 record and 7.49 ERA.
  
To make room for Ryu on the 40-man roster, Jake Westbrook was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

ONE MORE CUT -- Non-roster infielder Andy Cannizaro was reassigned to the minor-league camp. He played in 16 games and batted .227 with one homer in 22 at-bats.  

That leaves 34 players in major-league camp.
  
MARCHING ONWARD -- The Indians travel to Scottsdale to play the Giants. Cliff Lee will start with Rafael Betancourt, Joe Smith and Jensen Lewis set to follow.

Anthony Reyes will get his work by starting in a minor-league game.

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