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Road trip doesn’t help playoff hopes

DETROIT: The Indians finished their trip to Atlanta and Detroit with a 1-5 record, diminishing their chances of reaching the postseason but not ending them.

Asked about the big picture, manager Terry Francona said: “The only picture is the next game. That’s the best way to go about our business. The only way is to try and go out and win today.’’

At least the Tribe broke the Tigers’ spell with a 4-0 win Sunday after getting beat in 15 of the first 18 meetings.

“I was getting tired of not shaking hands after playing them,’’ Mike Aviles said. “They’ve had our number all year. That club is built to win a championship.’’

WHERE HE WANTS TO BE – In his second stint with the Indians, catcher Kelly Shoppach seems genuinely thrilled to be back.

“I’m really excited,’’ he said. “This is the perfect place for me.’’

Said Francona: “This is an important month for Kelly if he wants to keep playing, and I know he does. He can still do it.’’

Shoppach, 33, was the Tribe’s backup catcher from 2006-2009 and started his career with the Red Sox, when Francona was manager.

TRADE COMPLETE – There were a few raised eyebrows when the Tribe left reliever Matt Langwell off its call-up list.

The reason: He is going to the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete the Jason Kubel trade.

Langwell was 3-4 with two saves and a 2.24 ERA in 42 appearances at Columbus. In a brief stint with the Tribe, he was 1-0 and gave up three runs in 5⅓ innings, striking out six in five outings.

ROSTER MOVES – Columbus outfielder Tim Fedroff and shortstop Juan Diaz were designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Kelly Shoppach and Jose Ramirez.

Diaz was batting .242 with 23 doubles and eight home runs; Fedroff batted .242 with 13 doubles and six homers.

TRIVIA PURSUIT – It wasn’t Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter who beat the Tribe in two out of three weekend games.

It was the bottom three hitters in the Tigers’ lineup, who combined to hit .441 with two home runs, six RBI and five runs.

FARM FACTS – Cole Cook gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings, as Carolina lost to Myrtle Beach 4-3. Joe Wendle hit his 16th home run of the season, and Jordan Smith had three hits. ... Eric Haase had three hits, including a double, and drove in two runs in Lake County’s 5-3 loss to Bowling Green. Nick Hamilton homered, singled and drove in two runs.

— Sheldon Ocker


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