ARLINGTON -- A day after getting whacked in the back of the head by Elvis Andrus' elbow, Matt LaPorta was out of the Indians' starting lineup but was showing no signs of a concussion.The Tribe was being cautious with LaPorta on Tuesday, subjecting him to neuropsychological testing to ensure the blow to the head did not affect memory or brain function. LaPorta was then scheduled to do some cardio work to ensure that an elevated heart rate did not lead to headaches or nausea. But all signs point to LaPorta returning to the Indians' lineup soon, perhaps as soon as Wednesday's series finale in Texas. LaPorta said he had a headache Monday night, when a CT scan at the nearby Medical Center of Arlington came back negative. He felt much better Tuesday. In fact, he said this head contusion was not nearly as bad as the concussion he suffered when getting hit in the back of the head with a pitch during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. "That one was a lot worse than right now," LaPorta said. "I felt the effects of that one for a couple weeks." This time around, LaPorta was injured when he attempted to field Jason Donald's short-hopped throw to first on Andrus' infield single in the third inning Monday night. "I had to back up to get it," LaPorta said. "I got in the way of the basepath." That's where his head met Andrus' elbow. LaPorta fell flat on the ground and looked dazed and confused. He remained in the game for the final two outs of the third but was pulled when he came back to the dugout and felt nauseous. LaPorta wasn't sure if he lost consciousness upon impact or not. "I don't know if I got knocked out," he said. "But for a couple seconds, I wasn't normal." He felt normal Tuesday, and the Indians hope to have him back soon.
Hafner pulls off rare stolen base
ARLINGTON -- Last week, he dashed home on a suicide squeeze. On Monday night, he swiped second base.Who knows how Travis Hafner's blazing speed will impact the Indians next? Hafner, the Tribe's 6-foot-3, 240-pound DH, stole a base for just the eighth time in his career and the first time since May 15, 2008. It was a delayed steal in the sixth, called by manager Manny Acta. Hafner didn't break until just before the ball crossed home plate, where Jhonny Peralta was up to bat. Peralta went on to knock Pronk in from second with an RBI double. "You'd love to sit back and let the guy slug away, but that's not the type of club we have," Acta said. "We have to do certain things to get a run here or there. [Hafner] executed it perfectly, and Peralta was the main ingredient. Ideally, you like to do that with a left-handed hitter up, so it affects the catcher's visibility. We took a chance there."
Kearns hit by three pitches Monday
ARLINGTON -- Austin Kearns didn't have any noteworthy bruises. In fact, until third-base coach Steve Smith mentioned something, he said he didn't really realize he had been plunked by three pitches from three different Rangers pitchers Monday night."I didn't really pay attention to it," he said. The record-keepers did. Kearns became the first Tribe player in club history to get hit by three pitches in a single game. He tied a Major League record that has been done many times. Manny Ramirez was the last player to reach the mark. In fact, Ramirez did it two years earlier, to the day -- July 5, 2008. Kearns was hit by a 93-mph Omar Beltre fastball in the third inning, an 82-mph Dustin Nippert changeup in the fourth and an 80-mph Alexi Ogando slider in the eighth. None of the plunking appeared the least bit intentional. "I'm not a guy who's on top of the plate, but I'm not far away from it, either," Kearns said. "I tend to get pitched in, so that stuff's going to happen."
The Indians announced the signing of seventh-round Draft pick Robbie Aviles, a right-hander from Suffern (N.Y.) High School. Aviles was 9-0 with two saves and a 0.80 ERA in 18 games, including 11 starts, for his school this year, and he injured his elbow in his final appearances. He will have Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in the near future. ... Monday's win marked the first time the Indians hit four homers in a game since July 26 of last year, in Seattle. ... The Indians' average age on their 25-man roster is 27.89, the second-youngest in the Majors behind the D-backs (27.70). The average age on the 40-man is 26.50, which is the youngest in the Majors. ... Indians pitchers had allowed just one homer in their last 74 innings of work, entering Tuesday's game.