Lingering back injury forces Michael Brantley out of the Indians’ lineup again

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Indians left fielder Michael Brantley has been struggling with a back injury since early in spring training and he’s once again out of the lineup today.

Brantley played Opening Day, sat out two games, returned for one game Friday, and is now out of the lineup for a third straight game. He played 156 of 162 games last season while finishing third in the MVP voting behind Mike Trout and Victor Martinez.

In his absence the Indians have used Mike Aviles, Jerry Sands, and David Murphy in left field. Sands gets the start today against the White Sox.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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