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Cleveland Indians

Stiff back sidelines Hafner

By Sheldon Ocker Published: August 4, 2012
   DETROIT: Manager Manny Acta’s first lineup today read, “”Hafner or Lopez’’ at DH.
   Travis Hafner was activated after returning from Cleveland, where he was on the paternity list. However, he has been nursing a stiff back for more than a week.
   “”That’s why he came out of the game (in Kansas City, last Tuesday),’’ Acta said. “”His back stiffened up. It worked out perfectly, because he had to go on the paternity list and went home, where he took care of his back, too. It’s much better now.’’
   Then again, maybe not. After Hafner took batting practice, Acta decided to use Jose Lopez at the DH spot.
   Hafner almost missed the birth of his second son on Thursday.
   “”I had an 8:30 flight from Kansas City that morning, and it was delayed for two hours,’’ he said. “”But I still got there an hour before the baby was born.’’  
   Is there a rational explanation why the pitching and hitting went south immediately after the club took two of three from the Tigers little more than a week ago?
   “”Nobody expected this to happen,’’ Acta said. “”We’re just not hitting and not pitching. A week ago, we were on top of the world after the series against Detroit. No one thought we wouldn’t win a game since.’’
    Since 1918, only one other Tribe team had a higher earned-run average during a losing streak of seven or more games: the 1930 Indians…..According to Elias Sports Burea, the Tribe never has had a winless trip of nine or more games.

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