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Cleveland claims split-squad wins

03/16/2014, 9:51pm EDT

Harang tosses 4 solid innings; Swisher hits first homer

Cleveland claims split-squad wins

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Aaron Harang gave up a run on four hits in four innings and Nick Swisher hit a solo home run as the split-squad Cleveland Indians defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Sunday.

Harang, who signed a minor-league free agent contract on Feb. 15 after pitching for Seattle and the New York Mets in 2013, won his second spring start in a row as he makes a bid for a spot in the Indians’ rotation.

The Indians scored a run in the first inning on a bases-loaded walk issued by Tim Hudson.

After the Giants tied it at 1 in the second, Cleveland scored two more in the third. Swisher led off with his first homer of the spring and the second run scored on a double-play ground ball.

STARTING TIME: Bench coach Brad Mills said the 6-foot-7 Harang, who has also pitched for Oakland, Cincinnati, San Diego, and the Los Angeles Dodgers during a 12-year career, brings a strong veteran presence to the mound.

Mills, who managed the Indians while manager Terry Francona managed the other split-squad team against the Chicago Cubs, said the 35-year-old Harang “still has got pretty good stuff. His fastball can sneak up on you and he can keep you in the game.

“He throws strikes and always seems to be around the plate.”

He said Harang really made only one mistake, in the second inning, when a pitch ran out over the plate and Juan Perez hit it for a triple. Perez scored on a single by Brandon Crawford.

TRAINER'S ROOM: Center fielder Michael Bourn, the team’s leadoff hitter on Sunday, left after his second at-bat in the second inning because of mild tightness in his left hamstring. He will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Giants: Left fielder Michael Morse continues to be sidelined with tightness in his calf. Second baseman Marco Scutaro has yet to appear in a game because of back soreness, but has now taken batting practice and grounders for four consecutive days.

SWISHER SWINGS IT: Swisher, the veteran switch-hitting first baseman-outfielder-DH, collected a pair of hits, including his first spring homer, as well as a walk. His average climbed to .200.

“It’s nice to see him start to get back into it. It looks like he is seeing the ball real well,” Mills said.



MESA, Ariz. — Justin Masterson struck out eight in five scoreless innings, leading the Cleveland Indians to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs in a split-squad game on Sunday.

Masterson allowed two hits and walked none. He is slated to start on opening day.

The Indians got to Travis Wood for two runs and three hits in the first inning.

But the left-hander rebounded with four scoreless innings after the shaky start.

Wood allowed four hits, struck out eight, and walked none.

Carlos Santana hit his second spring homer for Cleveland.

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