CLEVELAND — The Indians made a wealth of moves Monday prior to the series opener of a pivotal four-game series with Detroit.
With rosters able to expand to 40 players, Cleveland recalled right-handers Austin Adams and Bryan Price and infielder Jesus Aguilar from Triple-A Columbus. Veteran designated hitter Jason Giambi was activated from the 60-day disabled list, while catcher Chris Gimenez was reinstated from the paternity list.
- Giambi, 43, has been sidelined since June 12 with left knee inflammation and before his pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning Monday, had played in only 15 games, batting .128 (6-for-47) with two home runs and five RBIs. He is wearing No. 72 (first time in team history) after his No. 25 was retired in honor of Jim Thome.
- Gimenez, who was acquired in a trade with Texas on Aug. 23, hasn’t made a big-league appearance since Aug. 3. He batted .262 with 11 RBIs in 34 games for the Rangers this season.
- Adams, 28, is back for his third stint with the Indians, appearing in three games for Cleveland — 3 1 /3 innings, four earned runs, five hits — prior to Monday. He is 3-2 with a 2.50 ERA and five saves in 42 games for Columbus.
- Aguilar, 24, is also up for the third time. He’s gone 3-for-18 with two RBIs in nine games for the Indians, while batting .304 with 19 homers and 77 RBIs in 118 games for the Clippers. Aguilar started at designated hitter Monday, going 0-for-2 with a walk.
- Price, 27, made his major league debut Monday, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth inning. Battling shoulder soreness, Price, who was acquired from Boston in the 2009 Victor Martinez trade, didn’t begin pitching this season until June 1. He’s split the year between Triple-A and Double-A Akron, going 1-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 28 games.
Turning it around?
Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall is heating up at an opportune time.
Following a 2-for-3 performance Monday, Chisenhall is batting .522 (12-for-23) with a homer and four RBIs over his last eight games to raise his season average from .285 to .299. He is still batting just .226 (49-for-217) in 63 games since June 13.
Detroit sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez have fared well in their careers off Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. Cabrera is batting a whopping .567 (17-for-30) off Kluber, with two doubles, three homers and nine RBIs, while Martinez is at .409 (9-for-22) with three homers and five RBIs.
Cabrera owns the majors’ highest career batting average (at least 15 at-bats) against Kluber, while Martinez ranks fourth.
Martinez has tortured Cleveland pitching since departing in a trade to Boston in 2009. He’s hitting .352 (76-for-216) with 22 doubles, 10 homers and 49 RBIs in 59 career games against the Indians.
Right-hander Zach McAllister (3-6, 5.91 ERA) made his first career MLB relief appearance, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out four over 3 1/3 innings. McAllister was recalled from Columbus on Sunday to take the roster spot of RHP Josh Tomlin, who was placed on the paternity list.
“That was really encouraging,” manager Terry Francona said. “You could tell he was really trying to keep his fastball down. Off of that, he threw some really good off-speed pitches. There was nothing to not like about it. It was really obvious that the time he’s spent working (at Triple-A), that he was pretty diligent about it.”
Francona told reporters that while McAllister would pitch out of the bullpen, he still could return to the rotation over the final month of the season.
The right-hander’s season began well — 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA over his first for starts — but it’s been mostly downhill since.
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander refused to answer questions regarding racy pictures of him and his girlfriend, model Kate Upton, that leaked on the Internet over the weekend. Verlander, who is the scheduled starter Wednesday, told reporters that he would only answer baseball questions.
- The Indians are 7-6 against the Tigers, losing four of seven games at Progressive Field.
- Monday began a streak of 11 straight games at Progressive Field — Cleveland’s longest homestand of the season.
- Tonight, 7:05, STO/WTAM 1100-AM/WEOL 930-AM/WMMS 100.7-FM. Carrasco (6-4, 3.01) vs. Lobstein (0-0, 3.09).