MLB Notebook: Cleveland pumped for home opener

2013-04-08T00:00:00Z MLB Notebook: Cleveland pumped for home openerThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 08, 2013 12:00 am  • 

CLEVELAND - All 43,000 tickets were sold in six minutes, a fan frenzy. As the Cleveland Indians prepare for thier home opener against the Yankees today, there's a vibe that's been missing for a long time.

This opener represents a fresh start and perhaps a return to the days when the Indians were one of baseball's big swingers.

"It's going to be awesome," said Nick Swisher, Cleveland's new first baseman and top salesman.

For months, Cleveland fans have waited until the first public appearance of the transformed Indians, who hired former UA Wildcat and Boston manager Terry Francona as skipper in October and then went out and spent nearly $120 million on free agents, including Swisher and Michael Bourn.

Cleveland (3-3) thrashed AL Cy Young winner David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays 13-0 on Sunday.

"We'll deposit that and get ready for New York and see what we can do there. It'll be fun," Francona said.

Francona, re-energized from a year in broadcasting, will catch a ceremonial first pitch from his dad, Tito, an outfielder for the Indians from 1959-64. Swisher, too, will be joined on the field by his father, Steve, an ex-big league catcher.

Early exits

ARLINGTON, Texas - Starting pitchers Yu Darvish of Texas and Jered Weaver of the Angels had to leave Sunday's game early with awkward injuries.

Darvish (2-0) threw 85 pitches over five innings to get the win, but he was replaced because of a blister on his right ring finger that also had developed in the game against Houston when he retired 26 straight batters before giving up a single.

Weaver (0-1) threw to a batter in the sixth, but strained his left elbow when trying to dive out of the way of Mitch Moreland's liner. X-rays were negative.

"Pretty painful. It feels a little swollen," Weaver said after the Angels' 7-3 loss.

Nice tackle

TORONTO - Boston's Will Middlebrooks swung the bat so well Sunday, hitting three homers, he got an unwanted visit from a fan who came out of the stands in the ninth inning to congratulate him.

"The fan said he was happy to meet me and then ... he got drilled by security. That was a good tackle," Middlebrooks said after the Red Sox beat Toronto 13-0. 

Inside pitch

• Carlos Marmol is out as the Chicago Cubs' closer and rookie Kyuji Fujikawa will take over the role after Marmol blew a save in Saturday's 6-5 loss to Atlanta, when brothers B.J. and Justin Upton hit homers.

• Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman was upset the Braves placed him on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained right oblique. "They didn't even give me a choice," said Freeman, who was hitting .417 with one homer and seven RBIs through five games.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Lemonade Days of Summer Smoothies!

Flavors: The Pucker, The Squeeze, and The Crunch - for a limit…

Video