CLEVELAND – Matt LaPorta didn’t do much with his first few opportunities on the big league level. Times have changed.
Since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus on June 27, LaPorta is batting .297 (38-for-128) with 19 runs, six home runs and 19 RBIs in 36 games. He went 3-for-4 with his seventh homer of the season in a 5-4 loss to Minnesota on Sunday.
LaPorta looks like a different player than the one that was demoted to the minors after opening the year on the Indians’ 25-man roster. It’s probably no surprise that his resurgence has come with more consistent playing time than he has ever received in the majors.
“Playing every day definitely makes you feel more comfortable,” said LaPorta, who is hitting .259 with 32 runs and 27 RBIs in 71 games this season. “It feels good to contribute and help the team win.”
With LaPorta as a key contributor, the Indians have played better, sporting a 13-11 record since the all-star break.
“I think guys are getting used to playing in the big leagues more,” LaPorta said. “We’re playing great as a ballclub right now. It’s really fun to be a part of right now.”
Mitch Talbot (mid-back strain) will make a rehab appearance for Class A Mahoning Valley today. If things go well, the right-hander is expected to rejoin the rotation.
Right-hander Anthony Reyes (right elbow surgery) is scheduled to resume his rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Wednesday.
The Indians are off today, continuing the homestand with a three-game series against the Orioles that begins Tuesday night at 7:05.
Justin Masterson (4-10, 5.40 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, opposing RHP Jake Arrieta (3-3, 5.07), while Josh Tomlin (1-1, 2.79) goes for the Indians against RHP Brad Bergesen (3-9, 6.26) Wednesday (7:05 p.m.).
Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 1.56) starts for the Indians in the series finale Thursday (7:05 p.m.), while Baltimore counters with RHP Kevin Millwood (2-11, 6.05).
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, a candidate to join the Indians before the season is complete, took the loss Saturday in Columbus’ 6-2 loss to Buffalo. Carrasco (9-5, 4.04) allowed three runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. … Akron third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall went 3-for-5 and belted two solo homers in the Aeros’ 10-6 victory over New Britain. Chisenhall entered Sunday batting .271 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs in 87 games at Akron.
Prior to the off-day today, the Indians played on 17 consecutive days and 24 games over 24 days since the all-star break. … The Indians signed another draft pick, agreeing to terms with 13th-round selection, Michael Goodnight, a right-hander out of the University of Houston. Cleveland has signed 16 of its 50 draft picks, but none in the top five.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.