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Indians notebook: Every game big deal, but Terry Francona understands attention Tigers series getting

CLEVELAND: Manager Terry Francona doesn’t expect his players to be kicking their lockers or biting through their gloves in anticipation of playing the Tigers.

“I hope that every game is a big deal,” he said. “That’s why we work so hard to have an atmosphere where you do the right thing.

“There is no off-on switch. You can’t get all revved up and then run through the line. Sometimes the situation calls for a change-up. But some series are more fun and get more attention.”

DOWN AND UP THE HILL — Lefty reliever Rich Hill has had his moments, good and bad, this year.

Lately, Hill seems to have found the command he needs to go with his stuff.

“Earlier he had a hard time throwing strikes,” Francona said. “Then he got his arm slot right but was giving up hits. Lately he’s been working ahead and been giving guys fits, especially left-handers.”

In his past five appearances, Hill has not given up a run and yielded only one hit and one walk, while striking out five in three innings.

HIGH-SPEED CHASE — A visitor to the Terrace Club witnessed a mouse doing laps on the floor being chased by servers and other restaurant personnel.

The visitor, obviously a Tribe fan, announced to other patrons that the mouse must have just arrived from Detroit.

TRIVIA PURSUIT — Michael Brantley is one of five players in the big leagues to start at eight different positions in the lineup this year.

The others are Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers, Seth Smith of the A’s and Matt Joyce of the Rays.

Brantley has spent more time as the No. 5 hitter (34 games) than anywhere else. He has led off 22 times, batted seventh 18 times and fourth 11 times. He has yet to bat ninth.

FARM FACTS — Carlos Carrasco (3-1, 3.14 ERA) gave up five earned runs (six total) and five hits in five innings as Columbus lost 6-2 to Toledo. … Jake Sisco (4-9, 4.39 ERA) gave up two earned runs (four total) and four hits in 5⅓ innings in Lake County’s 7-1 loss to Great Lakes. … James Roberts homered in Mahoning Valley’s 2-1 loss to Connecticut.

— Sheldon Ocker


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