ZEBULON, N.C. — Manager Manny Acta and the Cleveland Indians are ready to play some games that count.
Jason Donald homered and drove in five runs Tuesday in the Indians' 13-0 exhibition rout of the Carolina Mudcats, their new Single-A affiliate.
"We understand we're playing our lower-level kids," Acta said, "but our guys are ready to go."
Asdrubal Cabrera and Shelley Duncan each hit solo homers. Donald had a two-run single in the seventh and a three-run shot in the eighth.
Starter Derek Lowe threw three strong innings in the Indians' stress-free final tuneup before their regular season opener Thursday against Toronto.
The 38-year-old Lowe looked healthy after leaving his last start early with tightness near his right ribcage. He finished this one with three strikeouts and no walks while retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced.
"He (removed) any doubt that could be lingering from that day," Acta said. "He threw the ball well, no effort to it or anything like that. Had some good sinkers and good sliders. That's all we wanted, just a few innings out of him, and he could have kept on going. He's all set."
The Indians were in command all day. Cabrera's homer in the first came when he sent the first pitch he saw from Scott Barnes over the 20-foot wall in left. Travis Hafner pushed it 2-0 three batters later when he hit a fly to left fielder Delvi Cid, who dropped it after losing it in the sun. That allowed Shin-Soo Choo to score from third.
Duncan made it a three-run game three innings later by homering to left off Barnes. Michael Brantley's RBI groundout three batters later scored Jason Kipnis to stretch the lead to 4-0.
Donald's two-run single highlighted a four-run seventh, and things were already out of hand an inning later when his deep drive to left made it 11-0.
"It takes us all back a bunch of years," Duncan said. "It's a fun day for a lot of us, but it's a good chance for us to get our last warmup day out of the way."
During the game, the players' union issued a statement saying pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is appealing his five-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki during a Cactus League game Sunday. He was suspended and fined by Major League Baseball on Monday.
"He's going to be able to pitch, and then we'll go from there," Acta said of Jimenez, who's scheduled to start the Indians' second game Saturday against Toronto.
Jimenez did not speak with reporters before the exhibition that marked the debut of this newest incarnation of Mudcats.
They had been a Double-A team in the Southern League since they moved to this town from Columbus, Ga., in 1991, and most recently were affiliated with Cincinnati. After the Reds moved their Double-A team to Pensacola, Fla., the Indians brought their advanced Single-A Carolina League team across the state from Kinston to this town a half-hour's drive east of Raleigh.
"I think it's been about 10 years since I've played in this level," Duncan said. "A lot of guys, it's been a while. ... It's a big change from here and Cleveland, and it's a fun little stop on the way."
Acta was an infielder for the former Mudcats franchise in 1989-90 when it was based in Georgia.
"Life comes in circles," he said. "It was kind of funny in a way — we loved the logo back then in '89, and we continue to love it."