CLEVELAND — While everyone else in the Central Division did little to improve their big-league club at the trading deadline, the first-place Tigers didn’t follow that trend.
Despite owning a five-game lead in the standings through Wednesday, Detroit made one of the biggest trading deadline splashes, acquiring former American League Cy Young award winner David Price, and closer Joakim Soria.
“They were a very good team two days ago and they’re certainly a really good team right now,” Cleveland general manager Chris Antonetti said of the three-time defending division champion Tigers. “We know we have our work cut out to try and catch them.”
Indians manager Terry Francona is choosing to focus on the present, which found his third-place club still in contention for a division title and wild-card berth, trailing Detroit by 6 1/2 games through Wednesday — five games out in the race for the last wild-card spot.
“David Price is not going to beat us tonight. If he does, he’s really good,” Francona said. “We’ll deal with that when it’s time.”
Center fielder Michael Bourn (left hamstring strain) ran in the outfield at Progressive Field on Thursday, but there is still no timetable for him to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
“He will progress to (running) the bases when he is completely stretched out and confident,” Francona said of Bourn, who has been sidelined since July 6 with a left hamstring strain. “When he does the bases multiple times, and only when he feels totally confident, we’ll send him out to play some (rehab) games.”
To replace Asdrubal Cabrera on the 25-man roster, the Indians promoted relief pitcher Austin Adams from Triple-A Columbus. Adams, a hard-throwing right-hander, has posted a 2.28 ERA in 33 games for the Clippers, while striking out 40 batters over 43 1/3 innings.
“It’s kind of an exciting guy in our organization,” Francona said. “We’ve all seen the arm. With the development of his change-up, as that continues to progress, this kid has a chance to be pretty exciting.”
It is the second stint in Cleveland this season for the 27-year-old Adams, who was a fifth-round draft pick in 2009. He made two appearances for the Indians before the All-Star break.
The Indians continue the homestand with a three-game series against Texas that begins tonight at 7:05.
Danny Salazar (3-4, 4.96 ERA) opens the set for Cleveland, while the Rangers counter with RHP Jerome Williams (2-4, 5.53). T.J. House (1-2, 4.50) starts for the Indians on Saturday (7:05 p.m.) against RHP Miles Mikolas (1-3, 8.54).
Trevor Bauer (4-6, 4.25) goes in the series finale Sunday (1:05 p.m.), opposing RHP Yu Darvish (10-6, 2.90).
Midview High School product Ryan Feierabend will be in town. The left-hander has made six appearances out of the Rangers’ bullpen, allowing five runs on 12 hits over 7 1/3 innings.
- Left fielder Chris Dickerson left Thursday’s game after injuring his left knee on a double from Seattle’s Kendrys Morales in the second inning. Dickerson is day-to-day with left knee discomfort.
- Michael Brantley entered Thursday with just two RBIs in his last 14 games.
- Tonight, 7:05, STO; WTAM 1100-AM, WEOL 930-AM, WMMS 100.7-FM.