July 30, 2014

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Indians notes: Streaky Mark Reynolds back in a rut

CLEVELAND — The word on Mark Reynolds was that he had plenty of power but was a streaky hitter that struck out in bunches.
The Indians have seen both sides during the slugger’s debut season in Cleveland.
Reynolds, who leads the team with 13 home runs (tied for fifth in the American League through Friday) and 41 RBIs (fifth in the AL), was out of the lineup Saturday afternoon in the midst of a 5-for-27 skid (.185) over his last eight games. Reynolds, a career .235 hitter, just completed a May that saw him bat .208. He is at .250 in 53 games overall.
Reynolds’ 56 strikeouts in 184 at-bats are second only to another scuffling hitter, right fielder Drew Stubbs, who struck out in each of his four trips to the plate Saturday to bring his season total to 60 in 174 at-bats.
Stubbs has just five hits in his last 40 at-bats, striking out 20 times in 15 games.
Comings and goings
With their bullpen taxed from a lengthy rain-filled loss to the Rays, the Indians called for reinforcements Saturday, promoting right-hander Matt Langwell from Triple-A Columbus.
To make room on the roster, Cleveland optioned left-hander Scott Barnes back to Columbus. Barnes took the loss Friday.
Langwell, an 11th-round draft pick in 2008, has made 20 appearances (one start) for the Clippers this year, going 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. Should he pitch for Cleveland, it would be the 27-year-old’s big league debut.
Barnes has made seven appearances for the Indians this season — 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA.
Hometown discount
The Indians entered Saturday with the majors’ fifth-best record at home (17-11).
Cleveland has been highly successful at home as of late, winning 16 of its last 21 while outscoring its opponents 112-73.
No show
It was “Albert Belle Bobblehead Day” at Progressive Field, but the former Cleveland slugger was not in attendance.
Belle, who has had a rocky relationship with the Indians since retiring, made an appearance at spring training in 2012 and was expected to be on hand for the bobblehead promotion. But according to the Indians, Belle, who played in Cleveland from 1989-96, was attending his daughter’s dance recital.
Minor details
Top prospect Ronny Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with his fourth homer and three RBIs in Double-A Akron’s 7-5 victory at Reading on Friday. Rodriguez, a non-drafted free-agent acquisition in 2011, entered Saturday batting .254 with four triples and 24 RBIs in 51 games.
** Single-A Lake County’s Mason Radeke tossed five shutout innings Friday, allowing just a hit and striking out seven in the Captains’ 1-0 win at Dayton. It was the first appearance of the season for Radeke.
Roundin’ third
Indians starting pitchers have allowed just two runs over 23 innings of four games to begin the homestand. Cleveland’s rotation has posted a 3.35 ERA over its last 34 games.
** Right-handed hitters accounted for 37 of the Indians’ 67 homers through Friday, which was one shy of their total from all of last year. All but five of the homers have come from players who weren’t on the roster in 2012.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com.