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Cleveland Indians

Tribe needs to bloom in June

By Sheldon Published: June 8, 2009

 Still banged up and with uncertainties dotting every area of the roster, the Indians are entering a stretch of games that probably will determine if they can stay in the Central Division race. ¶
   For the rest of the month, the Tribe will play mosly National League Central competition with a smattering of games against the Royals and White Sox. Two-thirds of the schedule  set for Progressive Field. ¶
   No opponents are likely to be pushovers for a club that is nine games under .500, but the schedule for the rest of June should be relatively kind to the Indians, who expect to get several players back from the disabled list by July. ¶
   Three games against the reeling Royals beginning tonight might help keep the Tribe close to the first-place Tigers. ¶
   ""We just happen to be playing Kansas City right now,'' Jamey Carroll said. ""We want to win the first game of the series and go from there. I'm not sure it will be devastating if we don't beat the Royals now, but we do want to beat teams in our division.'' ¶
   Carroll said he does not fixate on the standings at this time of year, but sometimes he takes a peak. ¶
   ""I didn't really look till the other day, and I saw we were six back or something,'' he said. ""Sure, I come across the standings when I look a the paper, but I don't put much weight on them at this time of year.'' ¶
   Caroll, like his teammates, know what the mission is now. ¶
   ""We have to try and hang on,'' he said, ""until we can get our boys back.'' ¶
   THE GIMENEZ FILE -- Chris Gimenez figured a way to get noticed days after making his major-league debut. ¶
   It's easy when two of a player's first three big-league hits are home runs. ¶
  ""He's always had a great approach at the plate,'' manager Eric Wedge said. ""It's very professional.'' ¶
    One thing that baffles people about Gimenez is his name, rather, how to pronounce it, which is JIM-en-ez. ¶
   SMITH UPDATE -- Joe Smith (right rotator cuff strain) worked one scoreless inning for Columbus on Sunday, which might be his last Triple-A outing before he is activated. ¶
   Smith has pitched five times on his rehab assignment, delivering five scoreless innings. ¶
   KUDOS TO KINSTON -- Three Kinston players have been named to the Carolina League All-Star Team: infielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Cord Phelps plus left-hander Eric Berger. ¶
   The Carolina League All-Stars will play the California League All-Stars June 23 in Lake Elsinore Calif. ¶
   OTHER STUFF --  In his past 27 games, Shin-Soo Choo is batting .333 with five homers and 18 RBI. He is among the top 10 in the league in walks and on-base percentage. *elip Carl Pavano is one of two active pitchers who has pitched a shutout for four different teams (Expos, Marlins, Yankees, Indians). According to Elias Sports Bureau, Mike Hampton is the only other pitcher to equal that feat (Mets, Astros, Rockies, Braves). *elip The Indians haven't won many series this year, but they are two for two against the White Sox. *elip Jamey Carroll is batting .407 in his past seven games.

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