Back from injury, Brown drives in six

Indians prospect missed first month following knee surgery

Jordan Brown won the IL batting title last year with a .336 average. (Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

By Alex Raskin / Special to | May 1, 2010 7:52 PM ET

Jordan Brown was waiting for a night like this.

In his third game back from knee surgery, Brown doubled, singled and drove in six runs to lead the Columbus Clippers to a 13-2 rout of the Syracuse Chiefs.

The reigning International League batting champion had a shot at making Cleveland's Opening Day roster until he injured his right knee during Spring Training.

"I tore it on opening day of Spring Training," he said. "I did well in Venezuela and I was doing great in Spring Training. Those were my last feelings. To come back and feel completely lost six weeks later was very tough.

"You can't make a team when you're hurt. I knew I was in the mix and I thought I had a very good chance."

Brown's biggest challenge appears to be psychological. The 2005 fifth-round pick knows the knee is healthy but still feels trepidation in the field and at the plate.

"You have thoughts about your knee and how it's going to respond," he said. "I think those thoughts are dispersing. It's obviously in the back of your mind. I know I'm healthy, but it's trusting it."

Fortunately for Brown, a six-RBI effort can help ease one's mind.

The California native singled home Jason Donald and Carlos Santana in the fifth inning, then delivered a two-run double in the sixth.

"It was an 0-1 slider," Brown said. "I was just trying to hit a fastball up the middle and it went off the wall."

He also managed to produce when he wasn't getting hits, lifting a sacrifice fly in the first and plating a run with a groundout in the sixth.

"I was just trying to get the ball in the air," Brown said. "It was deep enough to left to score a run. For me, that was a big step because I had been pulling off a lot."

In his first game back on Thursday, Brown had a single while serving as the Clippers' designated hitter. He was back in left field on Saturday.

"It's just getting used to [playing the outfield] again," he said. "I felt fine the other day. Obviously, I was little tired."

As Brown continues to get more work with the glove and the bat, the anxiety over his knee should subside. And when that happens, he hopes to return to his form of last year, when he batted .336.

"After I got over all those normal feelings [after the injury], it was right back to work," the 2007 Eastern League MVP said. "It's not like I came in out of shape. My next thought was getting back as soon as possible.

"It was certainly a bitter pill. My career is far from over though."

Alex Raskin is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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