Swisher homers as Indians top Giants
Nick Swisher supplies enough energy and enthusiasm to fill several clubhouses. These days he’s getting an extra boost with all the new faces in Cleveland.
Swisher hit one of three Cleveland home runs, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched three scoreless innings and the Indians beat the San Francisco Giants, 4-3, Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of buzz going on around this team,” Swisher said. “This camp has been great and so much fun. It will be interesting to see how the season works itself out.”
Swisher signed a four-year deal worth $56 million with the Indians as a free agent last December.
“One of the great things about this team is the mix of younger guys and veterans,” Swisher said. “We have, arguably, the fastest American League team and I have the utmost faith in everybody. It’s a good atmosphere and a good vibe.”
Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who lost their second straight. Brandon Belt also homered.
Swisher hit his second home run of the spring and is now batting .500.
“Right now we have to find our identity,” Swisher said. “There are a lot of new guys here and we’re all trying to get to know each other. There aren’t many rules except to be fundamentally sound and to keep grinding. We’ll figure out a lineup.”
Matsuzaka allowed five hits and struck out two. He said, through an interpreter, it was the best he’s felt all spring.
“Sometimes he allows baserunners but he doesn’t back off,” Indians’ manager Terry Francona said. “He knows what he wants to do and he knows how to get out of it. It’s his third start and we’ll see where he goes from here.”
Madison Bumgarner gave up a run on three hits in his two innings for the Giants. He walked one and struck out three.
“My command wasn’t as erratic as it has been,” Bumgarner said. “I was just up and pitching from behind too much. You’re trying to be at your best but you know that’s not going to happen.”
After a long season and anticipating a long spring, Bumgarner said he backed off throwing bullpens during the offseason.
“I just want to get my arm in shape,” he said. “My command will be there.”
Roberto Perez hit a home run in the top of the ninth to give Cleveland a 4-3 lead. Juan Diaz also homered for the Indians.
Giants second baseman Kensuke Tanaka got a hit off Matsuzaka, and has six hits in his last 14 at bats after going hitless in his first 10.