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04/14/10 11:08 PM ET

Rangers, Indians first to honor Jackie

The Rangers and Indians will have the honor of leading off Major League Baseball's two-day celebration of Jackie Robinson's legacy by virtue of a 12:05 p.m. (ET) game on the 67th anniversary of the original No. 42's big league debut.

With both teams wearing No. 42 uniforms in Robinson's honor, the Indians' pregame ceremony will be highlighted by recognition of four local minority business owners.

While only an incidental result of the scheduling, for Cleveland to stage the opening on-field ceremonies is eminently apropos: The Indians were only a few strides behind the Dodgers, introducing Larry Doby as the American League's pioneer African-American player on July 5, 1947 -- 81 days after Robinson's bow in Brooklyn.

Not to mention the appropriately-named ballpark -- when contemplating the sociological implications of the steps of Robinson and Doby -- in which the teams will be playing: Progressive Field.

Speaking of which, baseball-wise Cleveland manager Manny Acta hopes to see his attack make some progress. The Indians have been held to two runs or fewer in five of their eight games.

Acta continues to look on the bright side, that his club has been competitive, meaning it has come within a few key hits of turning around its 2-6 record.

"We're fine. We've been in pretty much every game," Acta said. "Do I want everybody to be hitting .330 with 20 RBIs already? I think so. But that's impossible. We've been in every game, we're putting up quality at-bats, even in the games we haven't won. It will take time before some guys will be clicking. But not everybody can be at full cylinder every day."

Unless they are Rangers, playing in Cleveland: They have won seven straight games in Progressive Field. One more, and they will equal the visitors' high of eight straight the White Sox clipped off in 2005-06.

With C.J. Wilson still on the rebound from the case of food poisoning that knocked him out of Wednesday night's start, Matt Harrison, the other left-hander in the Texas rotation, stays on schedule for his second start.

His first outing had been impressive, as he held the Mariners to a run and six hits in six innings on Saturday -- out-dueling Felix Hernandez in the process. Harrison, however, was left with a no-decision when Seattle ambushed the Texas bullpen for a three-run ninth and a 4-3 win.

Rangers: Cruz on fire
Nelson Cruz (1-for-5 Wednesday, the one being his AL-leading sixth homer) has hit in the season's first eight games and is getting into challenging territory for the club record in this department: Al Oliver hit safely in the first 13 in 1979. Cruz's 12 RBIs in the eight games also ties Juan Gonzalez's season-starting mark, which he did in 1998 on his way the the club-record 157. Outfielder David Murphy is due for a start, with manager Ron Washington committed to getting him in the lineup at least once per series.

Indians: Errors prove costly
The Indians entered Wednesday night's game with one error in the first seven games, then had two more before there was an out in the third -- throwing errors by pitcher Justin Masterson and third baseman Jhonny Peralta. ... Masterson's tortured Cleveland tenure continues. He is 0-1 this season despite a 2.45 ERA in two starts, and still has won only one of 12 starts since the Indians acquired him from Boston in last summer's Victor Martinez deal.

Worth noting
Wednesday night's crowd of 10,071 was the smallest since Progressive Field opened in 1994; the previous low was 11,408 on April 21, 2009, against Kansas City.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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