The Cleveland Indians could get a huge boost when they host the Tampa Bay Rays in the wild card game Wednesday night.
Center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be back in the lineup, batting in his normal leadoff spot.
Bourn missed a a few games during the September slate with a right wrist sprain. He added another injury to the list when he was pulled during the ninth inning of the Indians’ 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins in their season finale Sunday because of left calf tightness.
Immediately after Sunday’s game, Bourn said he didn’t believe the injury was serious. The club said he would be evaluated before Wednesday’s game.
According to Jordan Bastian of Indians.com, Bourn “tentatively plans to lead of Wednesday.” Bastian reports Bourn “did agility work in outfield, ran bases & fist bumped GM [Chris] Antonetti after workout.”
For the season, Bourn appeared in 130 games. He batted .263, had an on base percentage of .316 and slugged .360. Bourn stole 23 bases, hit six home runs and drove in 50 runs.
First pitch from Jacobs Field is scheduled for 8:07 pm EST Wednesday. The Indians will send Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12 ERA) to the hill while the Rays will counter with Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76 ERA).
The winner will meet the Boston Red Sox in game 1 of the ALDS at 3:07 pm EST in Fenway Park.