September 3, 2014

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Indians notes: David Murphy, manager Terry Francona hope four-hit day means right-fielder’s slump is a thing of the past

Cleveland Indians' David Murphy runs out a double off Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco Sunday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Cleveland Indians’ David Murphy runs out a double off Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco Sunday. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND — Right fielder David Murphy had four hits Sunday in the Indians’ 10-7 loss to the Twins. He and manager Terry Francona hope it’s a sign that Murphy is emerging from a slump that has followed him since his final season with the Texas Rangers last year.

“That would be great,” Francona said. “The one thing he did (Sunday) was he hit the ball all over the field from the right-field line to the left-field line. Obviously, he felt pretty good.

“That’s the type of hitter he can be, line to line, hit a lot of doubles and give us some punch that way.”

Murphy, a lifetime .275 hitter in six-plus seasons in the majors, slumped to a career-low .220 with the Rangers in 2013. He had been a fixture in the Texas lineup since 2008, but the Rangers didn’t choose to re-sign him this offseason. Cleveland acquired him on a two-year, free-agent contract worth $12 million.

“It’s kind of been up and down for me for a while. Honestly, I’ve just been scuffling,” Murphy said. “(Sunday) was just one of those days when you get out of the cage and you feel prepared. Hopefully, it can be more consistent.”

Wounded Wahoos

Michael Bourn (left hamstring strain) had another rehab appearance with Triple-A Columbus rained out Monday. It’s the second time it’s happened to Bourn, who was eligible to leave the disabled list Saturday.

“We know he wants to play. We also want him to play when he’s able to play,” Francona said of Bourn, who went 1-for-3 for the Clippers in center field Saturday. “When he comes back, he doesn’t have to play 10 in a row, but we also want him to affect the game with his legs and be himself. He’s got a pretty good feel.”

Francona projected that Bourn would need two or three rehab appearances before joining the Indians, possibly in Chicago for a four-game series against the White Sox that begins Thursday.

“It’s going to depend on how he feels,” Francona said.

(bullet) Francona said that if veteran Jason Giambi (fractured rib) was healthy, the club would try to set up minor league rehab appearances to insure he was ready to be activated on his eligibility date (April 14).

C-Town love

Francona was asked about his experience in Cleveland and what it means to be the manager of the Indians.

“I love it here. I came here by choice,” he said. “We have a really good thing going here. We have our challenges, but we have more fun than we don’t and we do the best we can.

“When I hit at the casino, I like Cleveland better. At the moment, Cleveland (stinks).”

Minor dealings

The Indians made a minor league trade Monday, acquiring infielder/outfielder Torsten Boss from the Orioles for right-handed reliever Preston Guilmet.

Boss, 23, was Baltimore’s eighth-round draft choice in 2012, opening this season at Class A Frederick and appearing in one game (1-for-3, double). He spent 2013 at Class A Delmarva, where he batted .238 with seven homers and 45 RBIs in 106 games.

Guilmet, 26, was designated for assignment at the end of spring training. He made his major league debut with Cleveland last year, appearing in four games and allowing six earned runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Roundin’ third

The Indians and Padres haven’t met since 2008 in Cleveland. The Indians are 6-3 all-time vs. San Diego. … Tonight, 7:05 vs. Padres. STO; WEOL 930-AM, WTAM 1100-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM. Kluber (0-1, 13.50 ERA) vs. Ross (0-1, 5.40).

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.

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