Michael Bourn hopes his time out of the lineup is a short one.
Bourn, the Cleveland Indians’ center fielder and leadoff hitter, is sidelined again by a hamstring injury that has lingered for several months. He had to leave Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox when the hamstring tightened up while he was running to first on a bunt hit.
Bourn had surgery on his hamstring in October. He reinjured it in spring training, forcing him to begin the season on the disabled list before being activated on April 15.
Nyjer Morgan, who began the season as Bourn’s replacement, was recalled from Triple-A Columbus, and played center and batted leadoff Sunday.
Bourn, who missed the season’s first 15 games, said he hopes to play again in a few days. He’s optimistic he won’t need a return trip to the DL.
Indians manager Terry Francona said the team’s training staff told him there’s a chance Bourn will be able to play today.
“That might be a little ambitious, but if they’re saying that, it’s a very good sign,” Francona said.
Bourn is batting .266 with six runs, two stolen bases and four RBIs in 15 games.
Morgan batted .348 with three steals, four runs and four RBIs in nine games. He was sent down when Bourn came off the DL.
The Indians optioned left-hander Nick Hagadone to Columbus to make room for Morgan.
Relief pitcher Heath Bell has been cut by the Tampa Bay Rays in a costly move for a normally thrifty team.
Needing a fresh long man in the bullpen, the Rays recalled right-hander Nathan Karns from Triple-A Durham and designated Bell for assignment before Sunday’s series finale against the New York Yankees.
Bell, a three-time All-Star, was 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in 13 appearances after being acquired in an off-season trade with Arizona. Tampa Bay still owes him about $4.5 million this season.
Braves right-hander Gavin Floyd was activated from the disabled list and will start on Tuesday against St. Louis as a replacement for Ervin Santana, who has swelling below his right thumb, which he jammed in an at-bat. Santana is expected to miss only one start.