HOUSTON: Brett Myers is leaving for Cleveland today for a medical examination after telling the media Friday night that he has been pitching with tendinitis in his flexor tendon since spring training.
“We were watching how this thing might work,” Indians manager Terry Francona said Saturday. “We thought he might be sore today, and he was sore. We’re sending him back to Cleveland to compare how it looked when we signed him.”
The Indians are calling Myers’ ailment a “sore elbow,” rather than a flexor tendon problem.
Myers gave up three runs — on two homers — in five innings Friday night, as the Tribe lost to the Astros 3-2. In all of his starts, Myers has been plagued by the longball, having allowed 10 home runs in 21⅓ innings.
During the fifth inning against the Astros, Francona and head trainer Lonnie Soloff visited the mound to see if Myers’ stodgy fastball — some were clocked at 86 mph — might be the consequence of an injury. Myers convinced Francona and Soloff to let him stay in the game, and he finished the inning.
“Give him credit,” Francona said, “he’s been going out there and giving it everything he has.”
Myers said he has been pitching with the condition since spring training, but that he “doesn’t feel it.”
Francona explained: “He said he has it every spring and fights his way through it, but this time he’s not turning the corner.”
There is no way to know if Myers will miss a start until doctors complete their tests.
CABRERA LEAVES GAME — Asdrubal Cabrera left the game after the first inning with a bruised left wrist. In the first inning, Cabrera singled and grounded out, as the Indians scored eight runs.
Mike Aviles replaced Cabrera at short.
FINDING REASONS — Going into Saturday night’s game, the Indians had scored 11 runs in their previous five games, all losses.
Virtually the entire lineup is in a slump to one degree or another. Then again, maybe not. In the first two innings Saturday night, the Tribe scored 14 runs.
“Last night, we had a lot of base runners,” Francona said. “So there can be different explanations for different games. There have been games where we’ve had lots of opportunities and not gotten the big hit. That has happened quite a bit.”
Francona does not want to use short-term injuries as an excuse, but Carlos Santana missed four games, Jason Kipnis missed five and Lou Marson and Michael Bourn, currently on the DL, probably will miss two weeks each.
“Our lineup is good enough,” Francona said. “I like our guys who fill in. When I fill out the lineup card, I don’t feel like we’re missing a lot, although Bourn is important.”
STRONG REACTION — When Asdrubal Cabrera struck out in the seventh inning Friday night on a breaking pitch far out of the strike zone, he angrily flung his bat, an outward show of emotion rare for him.
“I think Asdrubal is starting to feel a little better at the plate,” Francona said. “But he just wanted to get us back in the game.”
There were two outs, a runner on second, and the Tribe trailed by a run at the time.
Cabrera contributed a first-inning double but is batting only .138.
END IN SIGHT — Lou Marson (strained neck) was scheduled to catch seven innings Saturday night then DH today, as he winds up his rehabilitation assignment in Columbus.
“Lou probably will join us in Chicago on Tuesday and play Wednesday,” Francona said.
FARM FACTS — Trevor Bauer lowered his ERA to 2.08, giving up two runs, two hits and one walk in seven innings, as Columbus lost to Toledo 4-3. Bauer also struck out seven.
— Sheldon Ocker