After putting centerfielder Grady Sizemore (.282, 6 home runs, 11 RBIs) on the disabled list earlier in the week with a bruised knee, the Cleveland Indians placed designated hitter Travis Hafner on the 15-day DL with a strained side muscle on Friday. Hafner, who was hitting .345 with five homers and 22 RBIs, injured his right oblique taking a swing during batting practice Wednesday in Chicago. He sat out two games, but manager Manny Acta said an MRI exam showed "issues." (We imagine the skipper was wearing scrubs and a stethoscope and speaking gravely when he delivered the news.)
"It's a big blow," Acta said. "It's a 6-foot-3, 240-pound blow."
Hafner will be out a minimum of three to four weeks. Acta said he would rotate Shelley Duncan and Travis Buck at DH, and he can also use Matt LaPorta there on days when catcher Carlos Santana plays first.
The Rangers' two-game series against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium this week was the only visit Texas will be making to Kansas City this season.
That's probably OK with Texas closer Neftali Feliz. He failed to convert a save opportunity for the first time in 20 tries in the Rangers' 5-4, 11-inning win on Wednesday, then went single, single and mixed in a wild pitch in an 11-pitch battle he lost with Mike Aviles to blow a 1-0 lead in K.C.'s eventual 2-1, 10-inning win on Thursday.
Citizens Bank Park probably looks pretty good to Feliz right now. (Insert your own Phillies-can't-hit joke here, with non-Raul Ibanez/Ben Francisco punch line for one night.)
Speaking of the Royals - Kansas City had two pitchers, Sugar Ray Marimon and Chas Byrne, combine on a no-hitter for the organization's single-A Kane County Cougars in a 2-0 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Wednesday night. Yep, Sugar Ray and Chas - sounds like a 1960s Stax soul duo (or a 1950s middleweight title bout).