GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Ryan Raburn refuses to cool off at the plate. He hit his fourth home run of the spring Saturday, as the Indians dropped an 11-8 decision to the San Diego Padres at Goodyear Ballpark.
Because he went 1-for-2 in the game, Raburn’s average actually dropped from .615 to .600. Not only does he lead the club in homers, but also the three-run blast gave him nine RBI, a team high.
Raburn came to camp as a minor-league invitee, so he has to fight his way onto the roster. In addition to his torrid pace at the plate, what helps him is his ability to play left field and second base and the fact that he is a tested veteran.
“Obviously he feels very good about himself right now,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s confident and putting up very good at-bats.”
Said Raburn, “I feel great, but I don’t have any say over the roster.”
Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera each had two singles and a double, and Swisher drove in a run.
MIXED OUTING — Ubaldo Jimenez threw two relatively effective innings but failed to retire any of the first five batters in the third, forcing Francona to go to his bullpen.
“I was really pleased with the first two innings,” Francona said. “And his stuff was good. It was a pretty confident day for him.”
Jimenez was charged with five runs and seven hits, walking one and hitting a batter. The bullpen let in two runs charged to him.
CHECKING IT TWICE — The Tribe isn’t ready to announce what specifically is wrong with Frank Herrmann’s right elbow, but he went to the Los Angeles Angels’ complex in Tempe to get a second opinion from the club’s orthopedist, Lewis Yocum.
SMITH ON TRACK — After throwing live batting practice Friday, Joe Smith (strained oblique) showed no ill-effects. “He’s 10 days behind everybody else, but he has no issues,” Francona said.
JURY STILL OUT — Francona hasn’t decided whether David Huff should concentrate on making the team as reliever or a starter.
“No, we still have another outing left,” Francona said, referring to the time when there won’t be enough innings in scheduled exhibition games for eight or nine starters.
So far, Huff has pitched twice, giving up three hits, three runs and two walks in four innings.
MARCHING ONWARD — The Indians travel to Glendale, Ariz., today to play the Los Angeles Dodgers. Corey Kluber will start against Josh Beckett.
— Sheldon Ocker