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Tribe Notes

Indians notes: Tyler Naquin still learning in the OF, now scuffling at the plate

  • Pirates-Indians-Baseball-3

    The Indians' Tyler Naquin jumps at the wall but can't come up with the catch on a ball hit by the Pirates' Corey Dickerson in the second inning Tuesday at Progressive Field.

    AP

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CLEVELAND — Tyler Naquin continues to experience growing pains in the outfield.

More evidence was provided during Tuesday’s 9-4 loss to the Pirates, when Naquin misplayed a deep fly ball to center field from Corey Dickerson that fell for a two-run triple to help Pittsburgh break the game open in the second inning.

Naquin tracked the drive to the wall but wasn’t set when he got there and the ball deflected off his glove.

“It’s a hard play,” manager Terry Francona said. “I think he could make it a little easier if he — and he’s still working on it, to get back behind it. That’s a lot easier said than done, but he ended up making it probably even tougher. And that’s something that he’s still working on, trying to get back and then work in.”

Naquin, who got off to a fast start at the plate, has also seen his offensive production sag.

He was batting .333 on June 17, but entered Wednesday at .263. Since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, Naquin was hitting .208 (20-for-96) in 30 games through Tuesday.

Century mark

The Indians played their 100th game of the season Tuesday.

Their 54-46 record entering Wednesday was one win shy of their pace last year when they posted 102 wins.

Cleveland slugged 139 homers through its first 100 games (tied for third in MLB), the fifth most in franchise history and the most since a club-record 153 in 2000.

Progressive power

Edwin Encarnacion entered Wednesday batting .266 at home, compared to a .201 clip on the road.

Of Encarnacion’s team-leading 69 RBIs through Tuesday, 42 had come at Progressive Field, which ranked fourth in the American League. Of his 23 homers, 13 had come at home.

Next up

The Indians, who are off today, begin a three-game series in Detroit on Friday night at 7:10.

Carlos Carrasco (12-5, 4.03 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, opposing right-hander Mike Fiers (7-6, 3.49), while Mike Clevinger (7-6, 3.43) starts for the Indians on Saturday (6:10 p.m.) against lefty Francisco Liriano (3-5, 4.73).

Corey Kluber (12-6, 2.88) will go for the Indians in the series finale Sunday (1:10 p.m.), while the Tigers counter with right-hander Jordan Zimmerman (4-2, 3.97).

Cleveland is 10-3 against Detroit this season, splitting six games at Comerica Park.

Minor detail

Shortstop Yu Chang hit his ninth homer and went 2-for-4 in Triple-A Columbus’ 6-3 loss at Pawtucket on Tuesday.

Chang, an undrafted free-agent acquisition in 2013, entered Wednesday batting .258 with 25 doubles and 45 RBIs in 90 games for the Clippers. He entered the season as Cleveland’s fourth-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com.

Roundin’ third

  • Yonder Alonso is batting .307 (27-for-88) with four homers, seven doubles and 41 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
  • The Indians lead the AL with 79 stolen bases. They recorded their major league-high 22nd game with multiple stolen bases and lead the big leagues with 21 stolen bases in July.
  • Brandon Guyer entered Wednesday ranked third on the team and 14th in the AL with a .921 OPS against left-handed pitching. All four of his homers have come against lefties.
  • Melky Cabrera has hit safely in all five games he’s played since being recalled from Columbus on July 20, going 7-for-18.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 440-329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.


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