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Cleveland getting benefits from discarded Tiger

Tribe batter booming team to victories

Monday, May 6, 2013 - 9:35 pm

It's fun writing about baseball when your favorite team is winning. It's a rare week for Cleveland Indiana fans, and we owe it to the Tigers!

One of the Tribe's hottest hitters has been ex-Tiger Ryan Raburn, who was cut by Detroit in November. Indians manager Terry Francona told club general manager Chris Antonetti to get Raburn and Cleveland signed him shortly thereafter.

With Nick Swisher hurt and Michael Borne still on the disabled list, Raburn has gotten the opportunity to play. His recent 12-for-14 stretch was interrupted a day off on Thursday, but his streak includes all four of his homers and a barrage of hits in seven consecutive at-bats. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Raburn is the fourth player in the last 75 years with at least 11 hits and four homers in a three-game span, joining Duke Snider, Kirby Puckett and Shawn Green.

Cleveland led the American League in homers as of Saturday with 39, topping even the Yankees' 38.

The Tribe will host Oakland for four games beginning tonight (Norwell's Jarrod Parker will start for the A's) through Thursday, and then Cleveland hits the road for three games with the Tigers.

Bringing the heat (but not much else)

Speaking of the Tigers, they sent reliever Bruce Rondon to Toledo for more seasoning, because while he throws fast, major league hitters can handle men who just throw fast.

What Rondon needs to do is learn how to pitch, and when he gets more of that experience, the Tigers will be glad to add him to their bullpen. Remember, it's only May.

The 2013 Tigers have had three different starters - Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello - in a game during which their staff notched at least 18 strikeouts. Justin Verlander, who has the most strikeouts in the majors over the past seven seasons, awaits his turn to help Detroit make more history after Tigers pitchers struck out 10 or more in seven straight games.

Detroit has had its share of extra-inning games already, winning twice in 14 innings, and losing in 10, 12 and 13 innings.

The Tigers stay on the road for two with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday and Wednesday before having Thursday off to prepare for the weekend series with the Tribe.

The dreaded 'yoga stretch'

The White Sox keep suffering injuries to their pitchers.

Gavin Floyd went on the disabled list, while Jake Peavy missed a start due to back spasms suffered during yoga warm-ups before a game.

The ChiSox have a makeup game at 12:30 today in Kansas City, then will travel to New York for a series with the Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday, before hosting the Angels for three games at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

There's no place like …

The Reds are home this week, which is good news for Dusty Baker. Cincinnati owns the National League's worst road record as of Friday, but also the league's best home mark.

Today through Wednesday the Reds will play Atlanta, and then are off Thursday before hosting the Brewers on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Cubs keep on keeping on with Marmol

The Cubs host Texas today before a two-game set with heated-rival St. Louis on Tuesday and Wednesday, before hitting the road for three games next weekend against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.

Carlos Marmol struggled on Saturday. He walked a pair of hitters, while hitting another in taking the loss in a 6-4 defeat. The right-hander, who lost his job as a closer after the first week of the season, has walked 12, hit three batters and served up 11 hits over 11 2/3 innings. His ERA is an ugly 6.17, but the Cubs vow to keep using him, to help him end his slump.

Good luck with that.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. E-mail Rick Rimelspach at rrimelspach@news-sentinel.com.