Branyan connected for his first major league hit,

Associated Press Published:

Branyan connected for his first major league hit, sending a drive far over the right-field fence at Yankee Stadium. Cone was making his first start since pitching a perfect game last Sunday against Montreal.

Branyan leads the International League with 29 home runs, including three Thursday night for Triple-A Buffalo in a 9-8 win over Indianapolis. The third baseman recently was picked as the MVP of the IL's All-Star game.

The AL Central-leading Indians, who have lost six of eight since the All-Star break, recalled Branyan from Buffalo and optioned infielder John McDonald to the minor league club.

Branyan was batting .220 with 63 RBIs at Triple-A, striking out 165 times in 92 games. The 23-year-old slugger went 0-for-4 in one game for Cleveland last season.

The Indians entered their series with the AL East-leading Yankees having lost six of seven overall. Injuries have been a problem all year, and the loss of third baseman Travis Fryman to a torn ligament on July 3 has been among the worst.

Fryman isn't expected back until mid-September and the Indians are reportedly shopping for a third baseman. Among the rumored names are Gary Gaetti and Carlos Baerga, a former second baseman traded by the Indians.

Enrique Wilson has filled in at third, but he hasn't provided the same kind of offense Fryman can. Wilson has just one homer and 17 RBIs.

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