KANSAS CITY. MO.: Jason Kipnis was selected as American League Player of the Month for June after twice winning the league’s top weekly award.
For the month, Kipnis batted .419 with 12 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 25 RBI and 17 runs. His 30 walks helped push his on-base percentage to .517 (tops in the league), and his .699 slugging percentage was second best in the AL.
He has reached base in 33 consecutive games, and going into Wednesday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals, he had a 13-game hitting streak.
“I hope he wins it for the next 10 years,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
The last Tribe player to win the league’s top monthly award was Shin-Soo Choo in September 2008.
THE MOVE — Michael Bourn returned to the club after bring on the paternity list for three days. To make room for him on the roster, lefty reliever Nick Hagadone was optioned to Triple-A Columbus rather than righty Joe Martinez.
“We have to make another move when Carlos Carrasco starts on Saturday,” Francona said. “So Hagadone probably would have been involved in that. If [Scott] Kazmir’s back acted up, Martinez is a starter, and he could give us some length. So we decided to err on the side of caution.”
That said, Francona did not expect Kazmir’s back spasms to flare up. He was scheduled to start Wednesday night.
IMPROVING — Carlos Santana seems to be doing a better job blocking balls in the dirt the past several days.
“You can give credit to Carlos and [coach] Sandy Alomar, because Carlos has been better,” Francona said.
HONORS — The Indians have selected infielder Joe Wendle as their Minor League Player of the Week for batting .400 with two homers, one triple and a 1.191 OPS in seven games last week.
For the season, Wendle is batting .314 with nine home runs and 35 RBI. He was the Tribe’s sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft.
FARM FACTS — Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings, as Columbus lost 6-5 to Durham. … Todd Hankins homered, doubled and drove in three runs in Lake County’s 6-2 win over Lansing in Class A. Robbie Aviles (2-3, 4.45 ERA) gave up one run and four hits in five innings.
— Sheldon Ocker