CLEVELAND -- Just as the Cleveland Indians were getting healthier with the return of left-handed reliever Andrew Miller, they had to pull another player, outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, from Thursday’s 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals for precautionary reasons.
Chisenhall was removed from the game, which the Indians won to extend their American League-record winning streak to 22 straight, because of tightness in his right calf, an injury that kept him out of the lineup for much of July and all of August.
“It was more precautionary,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We’ll wait and see how he shows up.”
The Indians got a two-out hit from Chisenhall and drew even with the Royals, 1-1, in the bottom of the third inning.
With center fielder Abraham Almonte on second base after a lead-off double to the wall in right field, Chisenhall hit a 1-0 pitch from Kansas City starter Jakub Junis to right and drove in the game-tying run before being thrown out at second base trying to advance from first on a throw to the plate.
Entering the top of the fifth inning, the Indians made the decision to pull Chisenhall from the game.
“We weren’t going to take him out,” Francona said. “He didn’t want to come out, we weren’t going to take him out, and then, when he sat for a little bit, he got a little stiff. So we were like, ‘Man, we’re not going to mess with this,’ so we’ll wait and see how he shows up, if he’s stiff. If he’s not, what the next step will be.”
Despite slumping offensively since returning to the team on September 1 after a long stint on the disabled list, Chisenhall is still batting .291 with a .364 on-base percentage and .526 slugging percentage through 78 games this season.
Of Chisenhall’s 67 hits in 230 at-bats, 29 have gone for extra bases (16 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs), with 53 runs batted in, another 34 scored and 27 walks against 52 strikeouts for the American League Central Division-leading Indians.
As it stands heading into Friday night’s game, Chisenhall’s .291 batting average is a single-season career best, and his home run and RBI totals are approaching personal bests.
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