The Indians entered Sunday with a Major League-high 456 at-bats against left-handed pitching. Cleveland's .217 average against southpaws ranked 13th in the American League and 27th overall in baseball. With seven pure lefties and two switch-hitters, the Indians knew facing left-handers would be a challenge this year.
"That's the chance we're taking," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We knew it coming in and we have repeated ourselves over and over and over, that there are more right-handed starters than left-handed starters, especially in our division. So we have to take our chances."
Veteran outfielder Johnny Damon entered Sunday hitting .171 (7-for-41) through his first 10 games as the Indians' leadoff man. Damon remained in the lineup's top slot for Sunday's game against the Red Sox. Indians manager Manny Acta believes the outfielder simply needs more chances to find his groove at the plate.
"He need to get some more at-bats," Acta said. "That's what it is. We'll get him more at-bats and see where he's at."
Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano entered Sunday riding a streak of 18 appearances that have included at least one strikeout. That run, which dates back to last season, is the second-longest strikeout streak by a Tribe reliever since 1918. The longest belongs to Paul Shuey, who had a 21-game strikeout streak from Aug. 20, 1999-April 10, 2000.