CLEVELAND — A right wrist strain was enough to keep Nick Swisher out of the lineup for the series opener against Cincinnati on Monday, but the Indians are confident the injury won’t linger.
Manager Terry Francona said Swisher called Cleveland’s training staff Monday morning and said he was feeling better.
“If he had woke up and felt worse, we would have had a hand specialist on standby,” Francona said of Swisher. “We’ll give him the day off, see how he does (today). As long as he can be available the next day or so that will take pressure off.”
Francona said Swisher sustained the injury on a swing Sunday during his third strikeout in three plate appearances. The designated hitter, who is batting just .212 with eight home runs, 42 RBIs and a team-leading 106 strikeouts in 93 games, was lifted for pinch hitter Chris Dickerson in the ninth inning.
In other injury news, center fielder Michael Bourn (left hamstring strain) ran the bases for the second time, and it appears he is moving closer to a minor-league rehab assignment.
“He’s doing real good,” Francona said of Bourn, who has played in just 66 games and has made two trips to the disabled list with hamstring issues. “We will sit with him and most likely start to map out a bit of a playing schedule.”
Francona predicted an extended rehab stint for Bourn, who has been sidelined since July 6.
“It doesn’t do anyone any good to run right in after being out so long,” Francona said. “The good thing is when he’s ready to hit full speed, he doesn’t have to play every day since Brantley can go out there and play center. The important thing for him is being able to hit that last gear.”
Catcher Yan Gomes (neck soreness) and Dickerson (left knee soreness) returned from minor ailments, each starting Monday for the first time in three games. Gomes hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning.
- Right-hander Toru Murata improved to 2-2 with a 4.93 ERA in nine games (seven starts) since being promoted to Triple-A Columbus, allowing two runs on seven hits over 61⁄3 innings Sunday. Murata, 29, was signed in 2010 to a minor-league contract after spending three seasons playing professionally in Japan.
- Shortstop Erik Gonzalez (non-drafted free-agent acquisition 2008) has filled in admirably for Francisco Lindor at Double-A Akron, entering Monday batting .408 with a homer and eight RBIs in 17 games since his promotion from Carolina. Gonzalez went 4-for-5 with a triple and two RBIs Sunday in a 6-5 win at Harrisburg.
- The Indians own an all-time 157-161 record in interleague play, posting an 88-69 mark against the National League at home.
- Cleveland’s plus-25 run differential through Sunday was tied for first in the American League since the All-Star break, ranking second in the majors.