4:10 PM ET, March 22, 2011
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Pima County, AZ
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Grady Sizemore moved into shallow center field and located the pop fly in the bright sky."I got it! I got it!" he yelled.It was a routine play, but one he had not made for a long time in a game. The Cleveland star took another step in his recovery from microfracture surgery on his left knee in June, playing the field for the first time in the Indians' 7-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.Sizemore was 0 for 2 with a strikeout and is hitless in four at-bats on the spring, serving as the designated hitter on Sunday. He is not expected to be ready for opening day, and likely will get his work in at extended spring training at the Indians' facility in Goodyear."It felt good to be back on the field, get out there and get as much work as I can," said Sizemore, who hit .211 with no homers and 13 RBIs in 33 games last season.He had been shagging fly balls during batting practice, "but at game speed, it is different," he said. "These are small steps. Next time, maybe I can play four or five innings and take it from there."As for his hitting, he said he is getting his timing down, trying to hit the ball to all fields.Asked how long he thinks it will take before he is ready to join the team in the regular season, Sizemore said, "I don't know. It's just going to be a feeling."Cleveland manager Manny Acta plans to alternate Sizemore at DH and outfield every other day for the remainder of the spring."It was good to see Grady out there. Everything went well," Acta said.Until Sizemore returns, Michael Brantley will be in center field with Austin Kearns in left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.Cleveland also could have Travis Buck on the bench after reaching a minor league deal with the former Oakland outfielder in December. Buck, who starred in college at nearby Arizona State, hit two more homers against the Diamondbacks, giving him four for the spring to go along with 12 RBIs and a .435 batting average."He's been hurt the last few years and we think we picked him up at the right time," Acta said. "With Grady uncertain, we thought it was worth looking at Buck and he's done a good job. He's got a good chance (of making the team)."Kearns and Asdrubal Cabrera also homered for Cleveland.Arizona's Aaron Heilman, a candidate for manager Kirk Gibson's rotation, looked strong in the first three innings, giving up just one infield hit and striking out four. But the Indians got to him after that. He was charged with four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings."I asked him if he was tired and he said no, but I didn't believe him," Gibson said. "I thought he got tired. He was missing on his location and he got himself in trouble. He got balls up. He is not where we need in terms of stamina."
|Stadium||Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Pima County, AZ|
|Umpires||Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Kerwin Danley|