Indians manager Manny Acta said one of the benefits of having Grady Sizemore back with the team is that it gives the lineup added depth. That dimension was on display Monday night in Kansas City, when the Indians beat the Royals 7-3 in 10 innings.
Sizemore, back in his familiar spot hitting leadoff, was once again the catalyst for the team's offense in just his second game after coming off the disabled list. He went 3-for-5, and No. 2 hitter Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-5 behind him, as the table-setters did their job.
Sizemore, who homered and doubled in his 2011 debut Sunday, is now hitting .556 (5-for-9) in his first two games since being activated. He has two doubles, a home run, two runs and two RBI.
The addition of Sizemore to the lineup gives the Indians another weapon and takes some of the pressure off the other hitters. Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Santana, two of the team's best hitters, have both struggled in the early going, but if Sizemore keeps getting on base, both should see better pitches.
The return of Sizemore also pushes Michael Brantley into the bottom third of the order. Brantley, who hit in the leadoff spot while Sizemore was on the DL, has made a smooth transition.
Brantley, hitting seventh Monday night, was 1-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base and a run. He brings some speed and a solid bat -- he is hitting .304 -- to the lower end of the order.
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