CHICAGO: With a batting average of .419 in June, why give Jason Kiipnis a day off on Sunday?
“Is it tough to do? Yeah but no,” manager Terry Francona said. “We walked though this about a week ago. Kipnis told me, ‘If you can get me to Sunday, I can get two days in a row, then I’ll be good to go.’?”
Kipnis was clearly dragging after playing almost eight hours of a makeup doubleheader. However, he contributed two more hits Saturday, including a two-run homer.
“I think the fact that he knew he had this [break] coming helped him,” Francona said.
THE KIPNIS FILE — Kipnis became the 15th Tribe player, dating to at least 1921, to complete a calendar month with a .400 batting average and an OPS of 1.200 or better.
The last Indian to reach this milestone was Jim Thome (.407, 1.351 OPS) in 1996. Kipnis batted .419 with a 1.216 OPS in June.
Other players on the list include Carlos Baerga, Albert Belle, Johnny Grubb, Dale Mitchell, Hal Trosky, Frankie Pytlak, Earl Averill, Tris Speaker (five times) and Joe Sewell.
Kipnis also has reached base in 32 consecutive games.
THE MOVE — You can never have too many relievers. At least that’s the impression the Tribe is giving.
Michael Bourn went home to Houston to be with his wife for the birth of their baby. Consequently, he was placed on the paternity list, which means he can stay home for three days.
In the interim, the Tribe recalled lefty Nick Hagadone from Columbus, giving the club nine relievers, two more than most teams.
“We just have some unusual circumstances,” Francona said. “Having an extra pitcher might help us out with all the innings the bullpen has pitched that past 48 hours.”
FARM FACTS — Juan Diaz had two doubles, a single and drove in a run in Columbus’ 3-1 loss to Durham. … Joe Wendle hit his ninth home run of the season, singled and drove in two runs as Carolina lost 7-5 to Salem. Nick Pasquale gave up two runs and eight hits in six innings. … Robert Whitenack (1-1, 1.84 ERA) threw six shutout innings, allowing five hits and no walks as Mahoning Valley defeated Williamsport 6-2.
— Sheldon Ocker