Jim Thome returns to Indians

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(AP) -- Jim Thome is back in a Cleveland Indians uniform.

Nine years after leaving as a free agent, the slugger returned to the Indians on Friday and will bat fourth in the series opener against Kansas City. Thome said "it's all good, glad to be back" as he walked down a hallway outside the Indians' clubhouse, an area he knew well from 12 seasons with the club. Thome is the Indians' career home run leader, and the club is hoping he can help them get back into the playoff chase.

Thome will wear No. 25, the number he had during a run that included two World Series trips with Cleveland.

Thome accepted a trade on Thursday from Minnesota to rejoin the Indians, who are 6 1-2 games out of first place in the AL Central. Thome, who recently became the eighth player in history to hit 600 home runs, will fill a hole in Cleveland's lineup caused by the loss of Travis Hafner. Cleveland's designated hitter is on the disabled list and may need season-ending foot surgery.