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Lofton injures hamstring

Cleveland Indians centerfielder Kenny Lofton left the game against the Royals in the second inning with a strained left hamstring.

Lofton, hitting .327, hit a run-scoring single with two outs in the second and appeared to hurt his leg going into first base. Favoring one leg, Lofton walked off the field without help.

A team spokesman said Lofton's status would be day-to-day.

Hobson unafraid of minor step

MOBILE, Ala. _ It's a long way from Fenway Park to Eddie Stanky Field, but Butch Hobson tries to remain upbeat as manager of the last-place Mobile BaySharks.

"I'm not afraid to show people that I'm not afraid to start over," said Hobson, a former slugging third baseman for the Boston Red Sox who was fired as the club's manager last year.

"I don't look at this as a comedown. I look at it as a chance to manage, to go back to my home state, and to teach. I like that part of the game."

Hobson, who played football for Bear Bryant at Alabama before heading to the major leagues, is managing in the Texas-Louisiana League.

Other former major-leaguers managing in the independent league include Jose Cruz of the Laredo Apaches, Greg Minton of the Lubbock Crickets and Ross Grimsley of the Amarillo Dillas.

But Hobson is the only one who previously managed in the big leagues, and it was only a year ago he was enjoying the fruits of The Show.

"Those things are all very nice," Hobson said. "That's the major leagues. Here we fly some, but sometimes we get into a city two hours before we have to play. But that's part of it. That's the minor leagues.

"I'm really enjoying it though. It's baseball."