Baseball / Sports

Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving tries his hand at baseball with Indians

CLEVELAND -- When Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher made his way into the clubhouse to get dressed for batting practice around 3:30 p.m. Monday, he was thrilled to run into a special guest.

Having just gotten dressed in an Indians uniform complete with a No. 2 on the back of the jersey, Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving smiled wide as he met the eyes of Swisher.

"Hey, Uncle Drew's in the house!" Swisher shouted before embracing Irving. "Happy to have ya, bro! Have a good time today."

It took some time to get batting gloves that fit and then find a bat that felt good to Irving as he began an unfamiliar process of getting suited up and then also having to acquire the right equipment.

"Get him a bat, fellas," Indians center fielder Michael Bourn said to the clubhouse attendants nearby, trying to be helpful.

"Hey, take it one step at a time," Irving responded as he was still trying his new batting gloves on for size.

When someone jokingly suggested he stash the gloves in his back pocket so that they would flap behind him when he ran, Irving quipped: "Yeah, I know how it goes. I got the swag part."

When Irving finally got in the cage, he quickly made contact and even hit a few line drives.

"We were very open with Kyrie that he was welcome to do this," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I think the players really enjoy it. The distraction of another athlete being here is good, it's all positive. I hope I get a chance to meet him."

After throwing out the first pitch with left fielder Michael Brantley catching, Irving settled into a suite with some buddies overlooking the Indians dugout down the third base line.

ROSTER MOVE -- As expected, the Indians sent left-handed pitcher T.J. House back down to Triple-A Columbus Monday and recalled right-hander Mark Lowe from the Clippers. The move was made in preparation for right-handed starter Zach McAllister returning to the rotation in time for his normal slot for Thursday's day game as well as to give the bullpen a little extra help in the meantime.

After a solid start to the season, McAllister began to struggle and wasn't able to right himself. He went on the disabled list in mid-May with a lower back strain, then began working his way back via a handful of minor-league rehab appearances between low Class-A Lake County and Columbus.

"With the extra innings (Sunday), we didn't feel it was safe to not do something to our bullpen tonight," said Francona, whose bullpen is short due to the team's starters not making it to the sixth inning over the past eight games. "But we certainly tried to explain to T.J. that this was not an indictment on his pitching. (In) fact, we thought he was doing an outstanding job. But, these things happen. We have to protect our bullpen."

During House's two stints with the Tribe since May 16, he owns a 4.88 ERA with no decisions over six games (five starts).

Meanwhile, Lowe, 31, was 1-1 with nine saves in 10 chances and owned a 3.48 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Clippers. This is his second stint with the Tribe this season, as Lowe made his debut for the Indians during a stint May 22 through June 1, posting a 2.08 ERA in four appearances.

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