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Fukudome goes 0-for-4 in debut for Indians

The Sports Xchange
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Even with a new hitter in the lineup, the result was painfully the same for the Indians, who were shutout 12-0 by the Kansas City Royals Friday night. In their last two games the Indians have been no-hit in the first game and shutout in the second.

Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome was 0-for-4 with three groundouts and a strikeout in his debut in an Indians uniform. Indians manager Manny Acta batted Fukudome sixth in the lineup instead of his customary leadoff spot, which is where Fukudome hit in most of his starts with the Cubs prior to being traded to Cleveland.

Acta said he decided to hit Fukudome sixth in the lineup for a couple of reasons. One is that Acta is very happy with the way Michael Brantley is handling the leadoff spot.

The second reason Acta decided to hit Fukudome sixth was that Acta said he wants an experienced bat in that part of the order, since the Indians typically have a lot of young, inexperienced hitters in the bottom third of their order.

Acta also revealed his plans for Fukudome's playing time. Acta said Fukudome will be the everyday right fielder. That's a position at which Acta had been using a platoon of right-handed hitting Austin Kearns and left-handed hitting Travis Buck. Buck was released in order to get Fukudome on the roster, and for now Acta said Fukudome will play right field against all types of pitching.

That means decreased playing time for Kearns, although Kearns was in the lineup in left field Friday versus Kansas City left-hander Jeff Francis. Michael Brantley, who normally plays left, moved to center as Acta didn't want left-handed hitting rookie center fielder Ezequiel Carrera to face Francis.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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