6/30/2013 3:15 P.M. ET
Kipnis, Swisher get much-deserved breather
By Ethan Asofsky / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The Indians arrived in Chicago at 3 a.m. CT on Friday and later played the longest doubleheader of two nine-inning games in Major League history. Then, on Saturday, Cleveland played a grueling day game after a night game. Manager Terry Francona understands his players are spent.
While first baseman Nick Swisher collected two go-ahead hits and second baseman Jason Kipnis reached base 11 times in the first three games of the Tribe's four-game set with the White Sox, Francona gave both players Sunday off. The Indians have an off-day Monday, so both sluggers will receive a nice break from action to rest their bodies. The goal was to have every Indians regular play three of the four games in Chicago.
"We knew we had all these games, and I actually talked to just about everybody," Francona said. "I tried to get a feel for how we're going to approach this. We knew all along what we were going to do. I think actually -- and I don't want this to come out wrong -- but I think the fact that [Kipnis] knew he had this coming helped him."
Francona had a talk with Swisher before Saturday's game and offered him a choice of playing or resting on Sunday. Swisher went 4-for-11 with a home run, four RBIs and four runs scored in the first three games at Chicago despite entering the series hitting .229 on the season.
Swisher rested on Thursday due to left shoulder soreness, and Francona said that he wanted to closely monitor the switch-hitting first baseman throughout the series in Chicago.
"In about the fourth inning, he said 'You know what? The more I'm thinking about it ...'" Francona said of Swisher's decision to sit out Sunday's finale. "And it's hard because he's starting to feel good at the plate, but it's the right thing to do."
Swisher knocked in a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning of Saturday's game off reliever Jesse Crain, who had gone 31 consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run.
Kipnis has been one of the most productive hitters in the Major Leaguers this month, having reached base in 32 consecutive games entering play on Sunday. The second baseman has a chance to become just the 15th Indians player since 1921 to finish a calendar month with a .400 batting average and an on-base plus slugging percentage of at least 1.200. After the first three games in Chicago, Kipnis was hitting .419 with a 1.216 OPS in June. He'd be the first accomplish the feat since Jim Thome in August 1996.
Bourn on paternity list until Wednesday
CHICAGO -- The Indians placed outfielder Michael Bourn on the 3-day paternity list and recalled left-hander Nick Hagadone on Sunday. The speedy center fielder dashed out of the visitors' clubhouse shortly after Saturday's 4-3 win over the White Sox to catch a flight to Houston for the birth of his child.
Bourn will be away until Wednesday, when he'll rejoin the club in Kansas City. Indians manager Terry Francona said he hadn't heard from Bourn on Sunday morning, but he was informed in the second inning on Saturday that the outfielder would have to head home after that Saturday game.
The club quickly acted on the news and informed Hagadone he'd be called back up. The 27-year-old reliever last pitched on Thursday, throwing 1 1/3 scoreless innings before being optioned back to Triple-A Columbus for one of the starters in Friday's doubleheader, Trevor Bauer.
"We've got a couple of unusual circumstances," Francona said. "We have guys that can move around the field, and having the extra pitcher might help us out. That was the thinking there. We've pushed it. We've had a lot of innings the last 48 hours, so having the extra pitcher is more valuable."
Bauer lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Game 1 of the twin bill, a 19-10 win in which the Indians' bullpen threw 127 pitches. Francona leaned on his bullpen yet again in the nightcap, asking his relievers to throw 85 pitches. The Tribe called up long man Joe Martinez on Saturday, when the right-hander threw two scoreless innings in a 4-3 win. Francona said the Indians need as much pitching depth as possible right now, but he also feels comfortable managing with more arms down in the bullpen.
"I would have 12," Francona said. "That's the running joke. It was always the running joke with [former Red Sox general manager] Theo [Epstein], and it's already the running joke with [Indians executive vice president and GM] Chris [Antonetti]. He laughs, but I think for our team, because of our versatility, we can get away with it."
Cautious Indians give Kazmir an extra day
CHICAGO -- Ailing Indians left-handed starter Scott Kazmir will receive an extra day before making his next start, manager Terry Francona announced on Sunday. Kazmir is considered day to day with back spasms, so he's scheduled to start Wednesday's game in Kansas City. Right-hander Corey Kluber will take the hill on Tuesday following Monday's off-day.
Cleveland wanted to watch Kazmir throw a bullpen session before clearing him to pitch, but Francona said the lefty didn't feel any lingering problems. Francona figured the extra day could only further assure the club that Kazmir's pain will be a thing of the past by Wednesday.
"We just thought it made sense to give him the extra day," Francona said. "As long as 'Klub' is OK, which he is, it made sense to back him up."
Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will pitch on Thursday, and the team will likely recall right-hander Carlos Carrasco from Triple-A Columbus for Friday's start against the Tigers.
Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.