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Chris Gimenez pitches two innings for Cleveland Indians during rout in Toronto

Morning news and notes for July 4, 2016

Cleveland Indians v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The Fourth of July represents a lot of things for a lot of people. Freedom and independence. Cookouts with family and friends. Fireworks and scared pets.

Baseball is a part of that too. My parents took my brother and I to a few Tribe games over the years on the Fourth. Great memories for sure. Here’s hoping you and yours have a fantastic and safe July 4th.

Blue Jays 17, Indians 1

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A rough one for the Tribe, with Corey Kluber allowing five runs in just 3 1/3 innings and the bullpen having to absorb more innings. All in all, the team looked spent. With the loss, the Indians fall to 49-32 (still amazing) and hold a 5 1/2 game lead in the AL Central.

Tribe News

Gimenez pitches in to relieve taxed Indians bullpen |

The catcher brought the heat for two innings during Sunday’s blowout, allowing four runs, but earning the praise of his teammates and manager. From Jordan Bastian:

Terry Francona wasn't just managing Sunday's game against the Blue Jays. As Toronto began to spread things open and turn the afternoon tilt into a full-fledged blowout, he was forced to think ahead to the next game or two for the Indians.

So when Chris Gimenez offered to pitch during the 17-1 loss to the Blue Jays, Francona took him up on it, trusting that the backup catcher would be smart enough to overcome the manager's worries about getting a position player injured.

Gimenez previously pitched one shutout inning for the Rangers on July 10, 2014, but he said he made the mistake of throwing too hard in that appearance. This time, the catcher averaged 67.5 mph on what registered as a knuckleball via PITCHf/x. Gimenez laughed at that classification, joking that it was actually a "super changeup," compared to his 82-mph fastball.

Abraham Amonte knew Indians would not release him after positive steroid test |

Almonte tested positive for the steroid Boldenone and was suspended for 80 games.

Indians are firing up fan interest |

A quick read from Terry Pluto on soaring TV ratings and better attendance recently for the Tribe.

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