Jason Michaels

Torrid Michaels rises up - Three-run homer saves day for Tribe in come-from-behind win against A's

CLEVELAND - Jason Michaels is the Indians' hitter with a hot hand, or maybe two when he grabs a bat.

It was Michaels' three-run homer in the seventh inning that propelled the Tribe to another come-from-behind win against the Oakland Athletics, this time 4-3 on Thursday afternoon at Jacobs Field.

Michaels is sneaking up on the public consciousness as a guy who counts. That was not the case last year, when he generated little excitement, a natural consequence of a .267 batting average, nine home runs and 55 RBI in 494 at-bats.

Michaels' three-run homer ignites Indians' offence in 10-3 rout of Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Jason Michaels capped a five-run first inning with a three-run homer, and the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep by beating the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on Thursday night.

Casey Blake added a three-run triple and also doubled for the Indians, who have the majors' best home record at 17-4 but are still two games under .500 (11-13) on the road. Ryan Garko had three hits for Cleveland, including a two-run single in the first.

Starter Jeremy Sowers (1-4) earned his first victory since beating Toronto 7-2 on Sept. 5, 2006. Sowers went seven innings, giving up one run and six hits with one strikeout and one walk before Roberto Hernandez relieved him to start the eighth.

Hernandez gave up Shane Costa's RBI single and left after walking Alex Gordon to load the bases with two out. Aaron Fultz walked Ryan Shealy, forcing in a run that got Kansas City within 10-3.

Michaels relaxed, hopeful, rewarded

WINTER HAVEN, FLA. - What do you make of this? Jason Michaels' role has been reduced to playing left field against left-handed pitchers, yet the Indians rewarded him with a two-year contract?

Is this a great country or what?

``I guess I'm their kind of player, not just on the field but in the clubhouse,'' Michaels said. ``It really instills confidence in you. It's awesome. After five one-year contracts -- which is kind of nerve-racking -- I'm excited.''

Michaels also is excited about the season. Hey, why not? The Tribe has not lost a game, but Michaels, 30, has been around long enough to know the difference between reality and wishful thinking.

Michaels sees right fit in left

Outfielder Jason Michaels will come to Cleveland on Monday to take a physical which should make his new two-year, $4.25 million contract official.

Michaels was one of four Indians who filed for salary arbitration last week. Right-hander Jason Davis is the only one who hasn't reached an agreement.

The Indians signed free agent David Dellucci to a three-year, $11.5 million contract in December. At worst he is going to platoon with Michaels in left field. If Dellucci shows he can hit lefties, he could play every day.

Indians reach deal with Miller, preliminary deal with Michaels

CLEVELAND - Outfielder Jason Michaels and the Indians reached a preliminary agreement Monday on a $4.25 million, two-year contract and reliever Matt Miller and Cleveland agreed to a $560,000, one-year deal.

Michaels, who hit .267 with nine homers and 55 RBIs last year, gets a $100,000 signing bonus and salaries of $2 million this season and $2.15 million in 2007. Cleveland has a $2.6 million option for 2009.

In addition to his salary, he could earn $600,000 annually in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 350 and 400 plate appearances, $100,000 each for 450 and 500 plate appearances and $150,000 each for 550 and 600 plate appearances.