Non-roster invitee bolsters rotation case by allowing one run in four innings
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nick Swisher tallied a pair of hits, including his first home run of the spring, while fifth-starter candidate Aaron Harang tossed four solid innings to outduel Tim Hudson as a split-squad Indians team downed the Giants, 5-1, on Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd at Scottsdale Stadium.
Harang, in camp as a non-roster invitee after signing a Minor League contract in February, finished his afternoon allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out three in his four frames. In nine total Cactus League innings, Harang has surrendered two earned runs on eight hits.
As for Hudson, he went 4 2/3 innings in his fourth Cactus League outing, giving up three runs on five hits and four walks. He threw 100 pitches.
"I got a lot of work in today, stretched my pitch count up, but I need it," Hudson said. "I got two or three more starts to get ready for the real thing so I need all the work I can get."
The Indians got the scoring started in the first, pushing across a run courtesy of consecutive Michael Bourn and Swisher singles followed by a bases-loaded walk to Lonnie Chisenhall.
Bourn left the game after the top of the second for "precautionary reasons" with left hamstring tightness.
Down a run early, the Giants answered with a rally of their own in the second, stringing together a Juan Perez triple and Brandon Crawford's RBI single to left on an inside-out swing to tie the game.
An inning later, Swisher returned the lead to the Indians for good, taking Hudson deep to right field for a solo homer. A misplayed fly ball by Perez in left field led to another run in the frame as Cleveland went ahead 3-1 on Chisenhall's double-play groundout.
Still up by a pair in the eighth, the Indians tacked on two insurance runs on Chisenhall's RBI triple to center and David Cooper's RBI single to right.
Up next: After two split-squad road outings Sunday, the Tribe will return to Goodyear Ballpark on Monday to take on the Reds at 4:05 p.m. ET. The game will give the Indians another opportunity to test out MLB's new replay system and will be broadcast on SportsTime Ohio. Right-hander Corey Kluber (0-0, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to face off against Reds righty Mike Leake (0-0, 3.60), with John Axford and Josh Outman among the Cleveland relievers scheduled to throw.