09/17/10 1:05 AM ET
Donald to skip Indians' upcoming road trip
By John Barone / MLB.com
Donald, recovering from a bruised tendon in his right index finger, won't accompany the Tribe on its trek through Kansas City and Minneapolis.
"There's no need for it," manager Manny Acta said. "He's not going to be playing, so he's just going to stay back and continue his rehab here."
The infielder, who said the swelling in the finger has improved in recent days, was scheduled to be examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Thursday night.
Donald sustained the injury in the seventh inning of Saturday night's game at Progressive Field, when he took a fastball from Twins starter Nick Blackburn off his right hand while laying down a bunt.
Acta hasn't lost hope that Donald will suit up for the Tribe again this season.
"I don't see why not," he said. "Seven to 10 days is what they diagnosed, so we'll see where he's at after that."
Brantley nonchalant about hitting streak
CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley is taking it easy these days. He's making it look easy, too.
Brantley's 10th-inning single on Thursday night extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games, the longest by an Indians rookie since Cory Snyder's 17-gamer in 1986.
Just don't expect him to wax poetic about his recent success.
Asked of the hitting streak, Brantley said, "I don't know what you're talking about."
What he does know is that his third Major League stint of the season will be his last. That's a comforting reassurance for Brantley, who is batting .301 with 19 runs, seven extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in 33 games since his Aug. 6 recall from Triple-A Columbus.
This, after the 23-year-old outfielder hit .157 across 26 contests in two earlier stints with the Indians in 2010.
"I'm just trying to stay as relaxed as I can," he said. "I was very tense to start the season, trying to do way too much. There was a lot of pressure I inflicted on myself, [it didn't come] from the Indians.
"Right now I'm just feeling really comfortable at the plate. I can't complain."
Neither can manager Manny Acta.
"He's one of those guys who is going to get it done here no matter what," Acta said. "That's the way we see it. There was no doubt at all, not even when he struggled early in the year. We felt he was going to figure things out, and he's done it."
Walks continue to be a problem for Tribe
CLEVELAND -- When Manny Acta conducted his initial research on the Indians, he noticed a glaring issue that had dogged the team in recent seasons: far too many walks issued by Cleveland pitchers.
"That's something that got my attention," the first-year Tribe skipper said. "We tried to zero in on trying to make it better."
So far, not so good. The Indians entered Thursday's action having yielded an American League-high 526 free passes this season.
Then again, that doesn't completely shock Acta, whose pitching staff isn't exactly chock-full of veterans.
"Some of these guys are young and getting their first crack up here," he said. "It's just about gaining experience, believing in their stuff and being able to command the ball. We have a few guys who are getting better in that aspect, but it's been a big part of the problem here.
"We started it in Spring Training and we've continued to preach it, but it takes time. You look at the Twins -- three of their starters are in the top 10 for the lowest amount of walks per nine innings. That gives you a chance to win. That being said, none of those guys started pitching last year or two years ago."
Of course, the responsibility ultimately falls on the shoulders of the hurlers.
"You can preach all you want," Acta said, "but they have to get it done."
The start of Thursday night's Angels-Indians game at Progressive Field was delayed by nine minutes due to inclement weather. ... The Indians on Thursday announced that they have extended their Player Development Contracts with Class A Advanced Kinston and Class A short-season Mahoning Valley for two years, through the 2012 season. ... Closer Chris Perez on Tuesday became the youngest pitcher in franchise history to notch 20 saves. The 25-year-old righty's 0.61 ERA since June 28 is the lowest among Major League relievers. "This guy has been overmatching hitters for the past three months," manager Manny Acta said. "With his mound presence, you can tell he's full of confidence." ... Indians starters entered Thursday's action having worked at least five innings in 21 of their past 24 appearances. ... For more on the Tribe, visit CastroTurf at http://castrovince.mlblogs.com.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.