November 26, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
37°F

Tribe: Bourn returns after birth of daughter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Michael Bourn is back from Houston, where he was on hand to witness the birth of his daughter, Blair.

“She’s ready to take over the world,” said the proud father on Wednesday. “She’s going to be a superstar.”

Bourn didn’t necessarily mean in the world of sports.

“Whatever she wants to be, whatever she wants to do, that will be up to her,” he said. “Same thing for my boy (Bryson). Of course, I want to put a baseball in his hand and see what happens.”

Bourn makes a distinction when he talks about the Indians’ mission for 2013.

“We don’t want to be known for being a hot team,” he said. “We want to be known as a good team, and that means being consistent.”

Entering Wednesday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the Indians had won 15 of the past 20, but that streak followed a 4-16 skid.

“I think we know that we’re able to get out of those kinds of things,” Bourn said. “Even during the rough streak, we weren’t getting blown out. It’s a learning curve. We had to figure out how to win those one- and two-run games.”

Bourn is a three-time National League stolen base champion, stealing 174 bases from 2009-11. In 2012 with the Atlanta Braves, he stole 42 bases, but this year his total has lagged, and he knows why.

“The pitchers have been real quick to the plate this season,” he said. “They’re paying lot of attention to me, and I don’t like to force it.”

Bourn also has a totally different group of pitchers gunning for him, and it will take awhile for him to learn their tendencies and their moves to first.

He is second on the team in steals with 11; Jason Kipnis has as a substantial lead with 19. Because of injuries and excused absences, Bourn has played in 56 games; Kipnis in 73.

“It’s not over yet,” Bourn said, smiling. “But he’s a competitor. I hope he gets elected to the All-Star Game. He’s the guy who should be there from our team. Him and Justin Masterson.”

In other news, Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis was voted AL Player of the Month for June. He’s the first Cleveland player to win the award since Shin-Soo Choo in 2008.

Kipnis won AL Player of the Week honors twice in June.

He had 25 RBIs in 27 games and hit .419 with 12 doubles, one triple and four home runs.

Kipnis took a 13-game hitting streak into Wednesday’s game against Kansas City.

The start of the game was delayed for two hours and 37 minutes.