For Indians, season hinges on hitting stride

For Indians, season hinges on hitting stride

For Indians, season hinges on hitting stride
CLEVELAND -- The Indians are holding out hope that they can eventually fire on all cylinders during the second half of the season.

After all, despite their 44-41 record, which positions them three games out of the American League Central lead, they have yet to hit their stride in any facet of the game.

"We haven't put together our defense, pitching and hitting at the same time," said right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. "That's probably something we have to work on in the second half."

Of the four pitchers who have made at least 10 starts for Cleveland, Justin Masterson possesses the lowest ERA, at 4.40. In the bullpen, only Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez have kept manager Manny Acta's heart rate at a healthy level.

Offensively, no Indians player is batting .300, and catcher Carlos Santana totes just a .221 average with five homers. Designated hitter Travis Hafner, who recently returned from knee surgery is hitting .231.

"We need Carlos and we need Hafner to have our offense competing at the level we believe it can," Acta said.