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Clevinger Returns For First Start After Back Injury

Mike Clevinger takes the mound tonight for the first time in ten weeks as the Indians begin a four-game series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.

Clevinger's last outing was on April 7 in a home day game against the Blue Jays. He fanned 10 batters through five innings, but didn't start the sixth inning because of upper back tightness. The Tribe carried on without him to beat Toronto 3-1, but Clevinger was diagnosed with a lat strain, and manager Terry Francona said at the time that it would be six to eight weeks before Clevinger would even pick up a baseball, let alone throw one. But the righty made faster-than-expected progress, and his return to the rotation is a relief for the Indians.

Two-time Cy Young award-winner Corey Kluber is out until early July with a broken forearm.  Carlos Carrasco is out indefinitely with a blood condition.  And the perfectly-healthy Trevor Bauer was 0-5 until he pitched a complete game shutout of the Detroit Tigers on Sunday

Clevinger made two minor league rehab starts earlier this month, first in Columbus June 6 and then with the Double-A Akron Rubber Ducks June 11, where he kept the game scoreless for four innings, struck out five and his velocity crept back to 99 mph.


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