Tough start could have been worse

CLEVELAND -- Strong April starts have not exactly been a tradition for the Indians over the past decade, and 2010 was no exception.

But manager Manny Acta, who just wrapped up his first month at the helm, looked at his club's 9-13 April record and knew it could have been much worse, given the struggles of the offense.

"I think we got everything out of every single hit and every run," Acta said. "Considering we were outscored by so many runs [104-77], I'll take [the record]."

On the offensive end, the Indians ranked ninth in the American League in batting average (.242), 13th in runs scored (77), 10th in doubles (39) and 13th in homers (13). As far as the pitching is concerned, the Tribe ranked eighth in the league in starters' ERA (4.21) and ninth in relief ERA (4.07). Defensively, the Indians tied with the White Sox for the fourth-fewest errors made, with 13.

Despite the early struggles, Acta said he was pleased with the effort of his players.

"It hasn't been a lack of effort," he said. "It's been a lack of doubles with the bases loaded."

Carmona learning to control baserunners

CLEVELAND -- Fausto Carmona has shown some encouraging signs on the mound this season, but one area he has not improved on is in controlling the running game.

The opposition has stolen nine bases against Carmona this season and has only been caught once. That's an alarming total, considering Carmona has never had more than 13 bases stolen off him in a season.

Manager Manny Acta said the Indians spent some extra time working with Carmona, Justin Masterson and Carlos Carrasco, among others, on controlling the running game during Spring Training.

"[Carmona] has had problems in the past where he's been too excited," Acta said. "It takes time to learn."

Worth noting

The Indians traded infielder Niuman Romero to the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations. A September callup last year, Romero was dropped from the 40-man roster during Spring Training. ... The Indians batted .352 (38-for-108) as a team over their previous three games, entering Saturday, to raise their team average from .223 to .242. ... Shin-Soo Choo was presented with the Golden Tomahawk Award from the Wahoo Club, the official booster club of the Tribe, before Saturday's game to honor him as the team's player of the year in 2009. ... Jason Kipnis, the Tribe's second-round pick in last year's Draft, who was recently converted from outfield to second base, is batting .380 with four doubles, two triples, three homers and nine RBIs at Class A Kingston.