CLEVELAND â€” Indians manager Eric Wedge has no explanation for his teamâ€™s propensity for comeback victories this season, mostly because he doesnâ€™t think there is one.Â â€œI think itâ€™s just a product of baseball,â€ said Wedge, whose Indians entered Friday with 23 comeback wins, which was tied with Philadelphia for the major league lead in the category. â€œSo many things you canâ€™t account for trendwise in this game.â€
The trend went the opposite way last year for Cleveland, which finished six games under .500 at 78-84 and in fourth place in the American League Central Division, 18 games behind first-place Minnesota.
The Indians generated just 27 come-from-behind wins all of last season, entering Friday with 11 victories in games they were tied or trailed after seven innings, compared to 12 of those wins last year.
â€œOne thing I can say is that weâ€™ve found different ways to win ballgames all year long,â€ Wedge said.
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ON THE MEND: David Dellucci was at the park before the game, a day after having surgery on his right hamstring â€” a procedure that is expected to sideline the outfielder for eight weeks. Dellucci, who signed a 3-year, $11.5 million contract with the Indians this offseason, is hitting .234 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 54 games.
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OUR ROUSE: Wedge isnâ€™t concerned with the offensive struggles of utility infielder Mike Rouse, who entered Friday batting just .118 (6-for-51) with a double and two RBI in 29 games. â€œDefense is definitely the thing there, and heâ€™s done a good job,â€ Wedge said. â€œItâ€™s probably one of the toughest spots on the team to do well offensively. Anything you get offensively is obviously a bonus.â€ It is Rouseâ€™s first experience as a bench player after spending the first six years of his professional career as a starter in the minors. â€œThis is the first time Iâ€™ve done this, so itâ€™s tough to gauge,â€ said Rouse, who has one hit in his last 26 at-bats. â€œI feel like Iâ€™m contributing to the team. I like to win, and when we win, I feel like Iâ€™m a part of it.â€
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MILLER TIME: Adam Miller pitched two scoreless innings in relief during Triple-A Buffaloâ€™s 6-2 victory over Scranton on Thursday â€” his second straight scoreless appearance since leaving the disabled list with a strained tendon in his middle finger. Miller, a candidate for the Indiansâ€™ bullpen at some point this season, is 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA and 41 strikeouts in nine games (47 innings) for the Bisons.
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YANKS ARE COMING: The second game of an upcoming three-game series with the Yankees on Aug. 11 is sold out, with limited tickets available to the series opener and the finale. During the weekend series, the Indians will hold a tribute to Hall of Famer Larry Doby, the first African-American player in the American League.
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MINOR DETAILS: Buffalo first baseman Ryan Mulhern (.310, 11 HR, 44 RBI) and infielder Luis Rivas (.262, 8 HR, 33 RBI) were named to the International League All-Star team. â€¦ This yearâ€™s top draft choice, third baseman Beau Mills, hit a grand slam and went 2-for-5 in his debut for Single-A Lake County on Thursday. Mills, the 13th overall pick in the draft, hit just .179 (5-for-28) with one RBI in his first eight professional games for Class A Mahoning Valley prior to the promotion.
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ROUNDINâ€™ THIRD: Ben Francisco was in the lineup in left field Friday, making the first start of his big league career. He got his first big league hit in his second at-bat, a line-drive single to right in the fourth inning off Devil Rays starter Edwin Jackson. â€¦ The Indians, who entered Friday tied with the Brewers with the fourth-best record in baseball, employ the seventh-youngest roster in the majors (an average age of 28.27). The Marlins are the youngest at 27.55, while the Yankees and Mets are the oldest at 32.18. â€¦ Browns kicker Phil Dawson was in attendance with his two sons and his father-in-law, taking in batting practice and leaving with a bag full of giveaways for his kids.
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