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Indians 3, Tigers 2: Tribe walks off with another win

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

CLEVELAND — Another night, another walk-off win for the surging Indians.

For the second straight game Cleveland won in its final at-bat, with Orlando Cabrera’s bases-loaded single in the 13th inning Saturday sending the Indians to a 3-2 victory over Central Division rival Detroit.

And for one of the few nights this season at Progressive Field, there was actually more than 10,000 fans taking all of it in, the Indians drawing their second-largest crowd (26,433), which contributed to an electric atmosphere at the park.

“It was fantastic,” said Cleveland manager Manny Acta, whose team improved to 18-8 on the season, matching the Phillies for the best record in baseball. “It was nice to see so many people in the stadium and feel the energy. I’m glad they got to see a game like this.”

Those in attendance also got to see the major league debut of the Indians’ first-round draft pick in 2009, right-hander Alex White, who did not disappoint.

With his entire coaching staff from the University of North Carolina watching from the stands, White was impressive in his first big league start, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out four over six innings.

Throwing his fastball consistently in the mid-90s, White began his outing with three scoreless innings before allowing both of his runs in the fourth on a pair of home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Raburn.

“He was very impressive,” Acta said of the 22-year-old White, who undoubtedly earned another big league start in place of injured right-hander Carlos Carrasco. “He kept his composure. He actually looked like he’s been out there before. They hit two home runs and that’s it. We like what we see in him.”

White didn’t crumble after the fourth, allowing just one more hit over the next two innings before calling it a debut.

“It was just a great experience. It was everything I expected,” White said. “My goal was to be invisible. This team is playing so well I didn’t want to affect that. I just wanted to give the team a chance to win and I felt like I did that.”

White was deprived of his first big league victory in large part because of his counterpart, Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who allowed two runs as well, but lasted seven innings, surrendering seven hits and striking out seven.

Like White, Porcello tossed three scoreless innings to start the game, allowing his first run in the fourth on a two-out solo home run from Carlos Santana. Santana was the hero Friday night, belting a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning to win the series opener.

The Indians tied it off Porcello with another solo shot from Michael Brantley to lead off the sixth.

The runs stopped for an extended spell after the sixth, both the Indians and Tigers bullpens doing a number on hitters to take the game to the 13th inning still tied at two.

Detroit’s relief corps retired 11 straight from the eighth inning to the 11th, while Cleveland’s pen blanked the Tigers on five hits over the last seven innings.

“The pitching was really good from both sides,” Acta said. “Our bullpen was fantastic, giving us the chance to win, and they’re bullpen was very strong, too.”

Both pens offered openings in the final inning, starting with Cleveland’s.

Miguel Cabrera led off with a double off Tony Sipp but Cabrera never left second after Sipp retired the next three batters in order on balls in the air.

The Indians got a leadoff hit as well, taking advantage of their opportunity.

Brantley led off with a single, then advanced on an error from Brayan Villarreal, who misfired on a pickoff attempt. Asdrubal Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt moved Brantley to third base, with the Tigers electing to intentionally walk Shin-Soo Choo and Santana to load the bases for Orlando Cabrera.

Cabrera hit the first pitch he saw from Villarreal over the head of center fielder Austin Jackson to score Brantley with the winning run.

“I’m not a patient guy,” Cabrera said.

Cleveland’s 18 wins are the most in franchise history over the first month of the season.

What do these surprising Indians do for an encore?

“We’ll see what May brings us,” Acta said. “We need to continue to play good baseball and keep it going.”

“We expect to win every night, there’s no doubt about that,” Cabrera said.

“This is better than ‘Major League,’” said closer Chris Perez.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


Indians 3, Tigers 2: Tribe walks off with another win

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

For the second straight night, the Indians won in walk-off fashion, with Orlando Cabrera’s bases loaded single in the 13th inning lifting Cleveland to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers.

It was the 12th straight home win for the Indians, who got an impressive outing from starting pitcher Alex White, the right-hander allowing two runs on six hits over six innings of his major league debut.

The Indians improved to 18-8, matching the Phillies for the best record in baseball.

Indians notes: Hafner diagnosed with strained tendon in right foot

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

CLEVELAND — The Indians finally have a diagnosis on ailing designated hitter Travis Hafner, who was out of the lineup for the third straight game Saturday.

Results from an MRI performed Friday revealed that Hafner has a strained tendon on the bottom of his right foot. He was originally sidelined with what the team called right ankle inflammation, sustaining the injury while sliding into home plate Wednesday.

The Indians still don’t think it is a disabled list situation, but Hafner was in a walking boot prior to the game and will wear it when he isn’t performing baseball activities.

“We’re optimistic that it will involve a short time period down,” said Cleveland’s head trainer Lonnie Soloff.

Hafner (.342, four home runs and 11 RBIs in 21 games) will be in the boot until Monday, when he is scheduled to be examined again.

In the meantime, because Hafner does not play the field, both Soloff and manager Manny Acta said the DH was available to pinch hit.

“He’s available off the bench, so beware, the Pronk can be there any time,” Acta said. “All he has to do is take off his boot.”

In other injury news:

(bullet) Starting pitcher Mitch Talbot (strained right elbow) threw out of the bullpen Saturday for the first time since going on the disabled list. He is expected to throw a second bullpen session with the Indians on the road in Oakland on Tuesday.

(bullet) Talbot’s rotation mate, right-hander Carlos Carrasco (strained right elbow), played catch from 75 feet Saturday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday. The Indians are hopeful that Carrasco can begin a minor league rehab assignment sometime next week.

Moving day

The Indians officially promoted Saturday’s starting pitcher, right-hander Alex White, optioning reliever Frank Herrmann back to Triple-A Columbus.

The Indians also cleared a spot on their 40-man roster for White, designating Clippers reliever Jess Todd for assignment.

Herrmann, who began the season in Cleveland’s bullpen, did not appear in a game during his latest stint on the big league level.

Told you so

Acta drew fire for leaving a struggling Carlos Santana in the cleanup spot, but he was vindicated a bit when the catcher hit a walk-off grand slam Friday night in a 9-5 win over the Tigers.

“I’m not here to prove anybody wrong. I respect everybody’s opinion,” Acta said. “I don’t know when the real estate market is going to come back, but I do know Carlos is going to hit.”

Santana, who entered Saturday batting .190 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games, said he got the ball from his first career grand slam, giving the fan who retrieved it an autographed baseball and bat.

Friendly fire

Former Indians catcher Victor Martinez is back at Progressive Field, but he is on the disabled list with a strained right groin and will not play in the series for Detroit.

Martinez will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday and has been keeping tabs on the fast start from Cleveland, where he spent the first eight years of his career.

“To tell you the truth, I’m not really surprised,” Martinez said. “They’ve got a lot of young guys but they got talent. Good things happen when you have talent and put everything together.

“It’s too bad that I’m in the same division, but they’re going to get better and better.”

Minor details

Catcher Luke Carlin, a candidate to win Cleveland’s backup catcher job this spring, went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs in Columbus’ 8-5 victory over Gwinnett. Carlin, acquired in a trade with the Pirates last year, entered Saturday batting .341 with two homers and eight RBIs in 15 games. … Class A Lake County shortstop Tyler Cannon went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Captains’ 5-3 loss to South Bend on Friday. Cannon, a 12th-round draft pick last year, entered Saturday batting .359 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 19 games.

Roundin’ third

The Indians (17-8) entered Saturday tied with the Phillies for the best record in baseball. … The Indians honored longtime drummer John Adams prior to the game. Adams attended his 3,00th game Tuesday. … Today, 1:05, Channel 3/STO/WTAM 1100-AM/WEOL 930-AM. Masterson (5-0, 2.18) vs. Coke (1-4, 4.88).

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


NFL Draft: Browns’ final pick is Nebraska safety Eric Hagg

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

BEREA — The Browns concluded their draft Saturday night by taking Nebraska safety Eric Hagg with the 248th pick.

Hagg (6-foot-1 1/2, 209 pounds) was an All-Big 12 pick after five interceptions and 49 tackles as a senior. He was named team MVP and won the character award.

He started the majority of games his final three years, and adds much needed depth to the Cleveland secondary.

The Browns had eight picks over three days, four on offense and four on defense.

NFL Draft: Browns trade up, take Pitt tackle Jason Pinkston

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

BEREA — The Browns started the draft with a trade, and they all but finished it with one.

The Browns traded their two sixth-round picks (Nos. 168 and 170) to Minnesota to get the 150th pick and take Pittsburgh tackle Jason Pinkston (6-foot-3, 317 pounds). He played left tackle for the Panthers but is expected to move to the right side with the Browns.

He grew up in Pittsburgh as a Steelers fan and said he’ll donate his memorabilia to Goodwill.

The Browns have just one pick remaining, No. 248 at the bottom of the seventh round.

Their picks Saturday: USC tight end Jordan Cameron, Stanford fullback Owen Marecic, Chattanooga cornerback Buster Skrine and Pinkston.

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NFL Draft: Browns take CB Buster Skrine in fifth round

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

BEREA — The Browns, desperate for speed, added some in the fifth round with Chattanooga cornerback/kick returner Buster Skrine. He ran a 4.22-second 40-yard dash as a junior, then timed a 4.37 at the scouting combine when he stumbled.

Skrine is 5-foot-9 1/2 and 186 pounds but said he plays bigger and with toughness. His max bench press is 360 pounds, and he benched 225 pounds 20 times at the combine.

Skrine said he was 5-7, 145 pounds in high school and didn’t get any Division I offers. He started 30 games at Chattanooga with five interceptions.

“I’m a tough corner,” he said. “I play bigger than my height. I’m fast, cover well and am coachable.”

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NFL Draft: Browns take Stanford fullback Owen Marecic in 4th round

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

BEREA — The Browns drafted Stanford two-way starter Owen Marecic on Saturday in the fourth round. The pick was No. 124 overall, acquired Thursday in a trade with Atlanta.

Marecic spent his whole career at fullback and added linebacker duties partway through his junior year. He started both ways as a senior for the Cardinal.

Marecic (6-foot, 246 pounds) said the Browns told him he’ll play fullback. He’ll save his tackling skills for special teams.

The selection likely cements the end of the road in Cleveland for fullback Lawrence Vickers. The Browns didn’t tender him as a restricted free agent, and he should be unrestricted when the lockout ends. Vickers has been a consistent starter for the Browns and earned Pro Bowl consideration the last couple of years.

New coach Pat Shurmur might not see Vickers as a fit in his West Coast offense.

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NFL Draft: Browns take TE Jordan Cameron, former hoops player

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

BEREA — The Browns opened Day 3 of the NFL Draft by taking USC tight end Jordan Cameron with the No. 102 overall pick Saturday.

Cameron (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) started college as a basketball player at BYU, before adding some weight and deciding to play football. After stopping at a junior college, he transferred to USC.

He made one start in his  football career, and caught 16 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown in his final year at USC.

He’s considered raw with upside. He said he also has the frame to add 10 pounds without losing his athleticism. He ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine and had a 37 1/2-inch vertical jump.

“I’m a tip-of-the-iceberg guy,” he said. “I’m excited about my future in this league.”

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Two die in head-on crash on Smith

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

YORK TWP. — Two men died following a head-on collision Thursday night in the 6100 block of West Smith Road.

David A. Smith, 22, of Brunswick, was pronounced dead upon arrival at Medina Hospital due to injuries he sustained in the crash that occurred at 10:11 p.m., according to a report from the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Medina post.

The driver of the second vehicle, Grafton resident Jeffery A. Bristow, 46, died overnight after being transported to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center, a Patrol report states.

A passenger in Smith’s car, Isabelle J. Striker, 18, of Medina, was listed in stable condition Friday after being transported by emergency helicopter to MetroHealth, Patrol Sgt. Jason Bittinger said.

“I spoke to her father this morning, and he said she might get out of the hospital” by today, Bittinger said.

Smith was driving west on West Smith in a 1999 Ford Mustang when Bristow’s eastbound 2007 Dodge Charger drove left of center and struck Smith’s car head-on, the Patrol report states. The road reportedly was wet with little traffic at the time of the accident.

Adam Skinner, who witnessed the crash, phoned The Gazette on Friday morning, and said he believes Bristow did not drift left of center.

“He was exactly behind me the whole time …” Skinner said. He noted he and Bristow were driving to work at Carlisle Brake & Friction on Lake Road in Medina.

Skinner, of Wellington, said he heard a “big boom” behind him and stopped to assist crash victims.

“Both cars were pretty mauled,” he said. “I was there until the LifeFlight.”

Alcohol and/or drug use are not apparent factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, Bittinger said.

In addition to the Patrol, the Medina County Sheriff’s Office and the Erhart-York Township Fire Department responded to the accident.

Contact Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or sgrazier@medina-gazette.com.

Quitting smoking video to be shot on Public Square

April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

MEDINA — Community members will head to Public Square this weekend to make a video about quitting smoking during the first Medina Smoke-Out.

An initiative of Leadership Medina County, the event will be 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday and feature live music and resources for quitting smoking.

Steve Viny, one of the project leaders with Leadership Medina County, said there will be a candlelight vigil of 1,200 candles, one for every person, on average, who dies each day from smoking.

“We’re hoping that we get the word out and show (people) what smoking really can do, and if you quit, your body really can regenerate,” Viny said. “If we can reduce the number of smokers in Medina County, I think that says something about the community.”

The event leaders have partnered with the Cleveland Clinic and have received support via a resolution from Medina County commissioners.

The public is invited to participate in making the video, which will be put on YouTube, Viny said.

“It’s going to be a crazy video,” Viny said. “We’re hoping it will get millions of hits.”

The event will be held rain or shine.

With all the health care debates, Viny said, combating smoking should be a top priority.

“People always look to their employers for better health care,” Viny said. “Quitting smoking is probably the single best thing you could do to improve your health.

“If only one person decides to quit smoking as a result of our event, it was a win.”

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.