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Indians Activate Outfielder Lawton

August 18, 2003

CLEVELAND (AP) _ The Cleveland Indians activated outfielder Matt Lawton from the 15-day disabled list and optioned infielder Zach Sorensen to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday.

Lawton dislocated his right middle finger July 11 while swinging the bat in a game against the Chicago White Sox.

``He’ll play as the DH exclusively until we get him on a return-to-throw program,″ manager Eric Wedge said, adding that there is no timetable for Lawton to resume throwing.

Lawton, has been hampered by injuries since being acquired in the multiplayer trade that sent second baseman Roberto Alomar to the New York Mets in December 2001. He spent time on the disabled list in 2002 with a strained left calf and then a sore right shoulder that eventually required surgery last September.

Lawton is hitting .248 with a team-leading 15 homers and 47 RBIs this year. Over his last 25 games before getting injured, Lawton batted .313 (30-for-96) with eight homers and 17 RBIs.

``It was unfortunate that he got hurt when he did because he was on a roll,″ Wedge said. ``He was as hot as anybody.″

Sorensen batted .143 with one homer and two RBIs in 27 games in Cleveland.

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