CLEVELAND -- After going through a rocky April, the Cleveland Indians got more bad news before even playing a game in May. All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained side muscle prior to Fridays game against the Chicago White Sox. Kipnis injury is expected to sideline him from three to five weeks. Losing Kipnis is yet another setback for a team thats struggled in several areas. Cleveland has lost six straight and is in last place in the AL Central. The Indians have yet to resemble the club that made the playoffs as a wild-card team in 2013. While one poor month doesnt guarantee a losing season, general manager Chris Antonetti knows its time to see some improvement. "There is obviously urgency," he said. "We want to try to turn things around as quickly as possible. Regardless of what the immediate results are, we need to play better as a team, really in all facets. Im confident well do that." Kipnis injured his oblique during an at-bat in the fourth inning of Tuesday nights loss to Los Angeles. He had an MRI on Thursday that showed the injury was more serious than originally thought. "Its not one of those ones you can play through," Kipnis said. "You have to let it fully recover because if you push it and re-injure it, youre right back at step one." The 27-year-old Kipnis is hitting .234 with three homers and 12 RBIs for the slumping Indians, who went 0-6 on a West Coast trip against the San Francisco Giants and Angels. "Trust me, watch how much this training staff hates me after about a week," he said. "As a player, you never like watching the game and not be able to help out the team. Hopefully, Ill get back out there as soon as possible." Kipnis signed a six-year, $52.5 million contract at the start of this season. His injury was the low point of a trip during which the Indians scored 13 runs and batted .183. "That probably wasnt our most fun road trip," manager Terry Francona said. "Unfortunately, we managed to do some things every game that didnt help us win." In an effort to break the slump, pitchers Corey Kluber and Cody Allen wore chicken outfits while standing in the outfield during batting practice Friday, but the Indians numbers havent provided many laughs. Cleveland is 12th in the AL in runs scored and leads the league with 26 errors, resulting in 17 unearned runs. Opening day starter Justin Masterson is winless in six starts, and several key hitters, including Carlos Santana, Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera, have struggled. Catcher Yan Gomes, who signed a six-year, $23 million contract in spring training, has made seven errors after committing three last season. "Teams are going to go through stretches of the season where they dont play great," Antonetti said. "There are going to be ebbs and flows to the season." "I believe well find a way to dig ourselves out of what weve dug," Francona said. The Indians recalled infielder Jose Ramirez from Triple-A Columbus. Ramirez has a .319 average with four homers and 17 RBIs in 23 games for the Clippers. Arizona Cardinals Jerseys
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.C. -- The Carolina Panthers announced Thursday theyve signed free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery to a two-year contract, helping rebuild a depleted wide receiving corps.(SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander endured one of the worst years of his career this past season. But on Thursday, Verlander can put a seasons worth of frustration behind him, as he takes the ball for the Tigers in the decisive fifth game of the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. "Its not just another game," Verlander said. "The season is on the line. The whole season, the way we battled and played as a team, comes down to one game. May the best team win. You cant treat it like another game, you know. Its a little bit different. There is more to it. Its going to be fun. Its what you play the game for. Its exciting. This is what you dream of as a kid, to be on the mound in a clinching game." Of course, Verlander was in this exact same position last year and responded by striking out 11 in a four-hit shutout to propel the Tigers to the ALCS. He was equally as dominant against the As in Game 2 of this series, but did not get a decision, despite tossing seven scoreless innings in his teams 1-0 loss. Verlander, though, was 13-12 during the season and finished the year with his highest ERA (3.46), lowest strikeout rate (23.5 percent) and lowest innings total (218 1/3) since 2008 and battled through reduced velocity. However, the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner started to show signs of the pitcher he has been down the stretch and pitched to a 2.27 ERA in his final six starts of the regular season. "I think its just some of the adjustments I made, one of the maybe a thousand that I tried to make this year," he said. "It was definitely a grind all year. Then it reached a point where I realized it was going to take awhile, that it wasnt going to be one thing I had to fix." Oakland, meanwhile, has relied on a lot of young arms this season. If they want to play another game theyll need to lean on another, as for the seventh time in their last 10 postseason games the As will hand the ball to a rookie hurler. Sonny Gray takes the ball as he did in Game 2 versus Verlander and the Tigers and will try to duplicate that performance which saw him strike out nine batters over eight scoreless innings. A 23-year-old righty, Gray has just 11 big league starts under his belt. Yet, Oakland manager Bob Melvin chose him rather than 40-year-old Bartolo Colon, who won 18 games this season and was second in the AL with a 2.dddddddddddd5 ERA. "Obviously, we had two great options there with Bartolo," As manager Bob Melvin said during a late-afternoon conference call Wednesday. "We looked at it at a bunch of different angles. We have a lot of smart people in our front office and in our baseball operations and the short of it is it came down to Sonny and the last game he pitched in similar conditions in our ballpark. So thats the route were going to go." Including the Game 2 assignment, Gray pitched to a 1.66 ERA in seven home starts. Hes also struck out 47 batters over 48 2/3 innings of those outings. "Hes got a power arm and lot of talent, but its hard to know -- like in Game 2 -- how a young guy is going to react," As shortstop Jed Lowrie said about Gray. "But he went out there with all the confidence in the world and performed pretty well." Detroit staved off elimination on Tuesday, as it rallied twice and held on to beat the Athletics, 8-6. Victor Martinez homered in the win, while Game 1 winner Max Scherzer, who relieved starter Doug Fister in the seventh, escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the eighth with two strikeouts and a line drive for the Tigers, who are trying to get back to the ALCS for the second straight year. "To be able to get out of that jam, I mean, thats something Ill never forget," said Scherzer. "Thats something Im not really asked to do, and tonight I was." Lowrie hit a two-run homer and knocked in Oaklands first three runs as the As built a 3-0 lead through the first 4 1/2 innings. Oakland will be trying to buck a trend of Game 5 failures on Thursday. The As have lost all five Game 5s they have played in the ALDS and are a miserable 1-11 in potential clinching games since losing the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds back in 1990. Detroit, which lost four of seven games against the As during the season, has beaten Oakland the last two times these teams have met in the postseason. The As only win against the Tigers in the playoffs came in the 1972 ALCS, which started a run of three consecutive world titles for Oakland. The winner of tonights contest will play Game 1 of the ALCS in Boston on Saturday. White NFL Jerseys Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys
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