PITTSBURGH -- Manny Acta is a fan of Interleague Play. It has just made his job more difficult lately.
The Indians' 4-3 win against the Pirates at PNC Park on Friday night opened a nine-game, 10-day road trip, with all nine games at National League ballparks. For Acta, the stretch will, for the most part, negate Travis Hafner. Normally batting cleanup, the designated hitter is tied with Shin-Soo Choo for the team lead in home runs, with eight, and is fourth with 28 RBIs.
"[I] don't think it's right that a team has to play nine straight days over here in the NL," Acta said. "I think they have to come up with some type of scheduling where no more than six, or maybe if you're going to have nine days of Interleague, to have three, three and three or whatever they have to do, because the DH is such an important part of every American League ballclub. And to have a guy like [Hafner] in our case that is swinging the bat so well pretty much shut down for nine days, it doesn't help the team and it doesn't help the guy itself. So I think scheduling-wise, it's not the best thing."
Acta still enjoys playing NL teams, however.
"You're not going to find me speaking against Interleague, other than not playing nine straight days in the National League and losing one of my middle-of-the-order guys," Acta said. "But I like Interleague for various reasons. You're always going to find reasons not to like it if you don't like it, but I do like it and I think it's been one of the good decisions that the Commissioner has done over the last decade or so."
Herrmann not focusing on scoreless streak
PITTSBURGH -- Frank Herrmann is not even thinking about his numbers -- even if everyone else is.
"It's not going to change my job if I give up a run," the Indians reliever said.
Since his Major League debut on June 4, Herrmann has been nearly perfect doing his job. He has made seven appearances, tossing 6 1/3 scoreless innings while giving up just three hits. The stretch has come on the heels of a promotion from Triple-A Columbus, where he did not give up a run in his last 18 appearances. He gave up just 13 hits during that span. The only run he allowed came in his first appearance of the season on April 8.
Between his time in Columbus and Cleveland, Herrmann has pitched 33 2/3 consecutive innings without surrendering a run.
"That's amazing, actually," reliever Chris Perez said. "You don't see that stuff in college or anywhere. He's been in a good little groove and he's got a good head on his shoulders.
"You guys keep asking him about it, and he's trying to not think about it, obviously. It's a great story for him. He spent a while in the Minors, and [he's] getting his chance now and he's doing the job, so I'm very happy for him."
On Friday, with the Indians leading the Pirates, 4-3, with two outs in the seventh, the right-handed Herrmann was called on to face Ronny Cedeno. Ryan Church, the potential tying run, was at third. Herrmann fell behind 2-0.
"I threw him a slider to show him something different, because pretty much every time I've thrown this year, I went first-pitch fastball," Herrmann said. "So I went with a slider just to throw his timing off a little bit. I have confidence that I can throw the ball in the zone, so if I fall behind 2-0, it's not really a concern."
Four fastballs followed, the last of which landed safely into the glove of Trevor Crowe on Cedeno's flyout to center. The inning was over, and the Indians went on to snap a four-game slide while Herrmann kept his streak alive.
Not that it means much to him.
"Then I'll just try to start another streak the next time," Herrmann said. "One pitch at time. If I do that, it really makes my job a lot easier."
Indians take short bus ride to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH -- The Indians experienced life as a Minor League team Thursday night before their three-game series with the Pirates.
The club took a bus to Pittsburgh, the closest Major League city to Cleveland.
"As long as it's not over three hours, I think it's nice," manager Manny Acta said of the ride. "It wasn't bad at all."
Apparently, many fans felt the same way. Scattered among the 28,478 spectators in PNC Park on Friday night -- the Pirates' fourth-biggest crowd of the season -- were large gatherings of Indians fans.
"It's close enough," Acta said. "We took the bus, too, so it's close enough. It's nice, and I know that there are a few people who live here that are from there, so it's nice to have them backing up the Tribe."
Rookie catcher Santana gets day off
PITTSBURGH -- Carlos Santana did not take the field for the first time in his Major League career on Saturday, as Mike Redmond got the start at catcher.
Indians manager Manny Acta said the decision had nothing to do with starter David Huff, as he was just giving Santana the day off and trying to keep Redmond sharp.
"Mike is our backup catcher, Santana's our everyday guy and we'll play him when we feel we need to rest Carlos," Acta said. "That's the backup catcher's job, and he's been very good at it."
Santana played in every inning in all seven of the Indians' games since his Major League debut on June 11, batting .333 with one home run and five RBIs.
The Indians traded Minor League catcher Adam Davis to the Pirates for cash considerations on Friday. Davis hit .263 in five games at Double-A Akron after hitting .225 in 26 games at Class A Kinston. ... With rain pouring down shortly before 6 p.m. ET, Justin Masterson remained on the field by himself for several minutes to sign autographs. ... An Indians victory would clinch their first series win in Pittsburgh since 1997. ... Starter David Huff has faced the Pirates once before, getting the win in a 5-4 Indians victory last June 23. The southpaw pitched eight scoreless innings, giving up just four hits.
Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.