After failing to record a hit Tuesday, Damon saw his average drop to .149 heading into the opener of a short two-game series Wednesday against the Mariners.
"[Damon] is struggling right now," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He's going to continue to get his at-bats, but he's not going to get them in the leadoff spot right now.
"Johnny's numbers are there. He played decent last year. It's just a matter of him getting it going."
It won't be easy for Damon to get his bat going Wednesday, though, as the Mariners will send ace Felix Hernandez to the mound. Even though the dynamic right-hander is coming off one of his worst outings of the season -- a loss to the Yankees -- Hernandez has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his eight outings.
Indians: Jimenez takes the mound
Ubaldo Jimenez will try to right the ship after giving up a season-high seven earned runs in his last outing. The loss to the Red Sox dropped Jimenez's record to 3-3 and pushed his ERA to 5.18.
Mariners: Errorless defense continues
Entering Wednesday's game against the Indians, the Mariners have not committed an error in their past 10 games. That ties them for the second-longest streak in club history.
Even though the right-handed-hitting Alex Liddi was not in the lineup Tuesday against righty Josh Beckett, Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he didn't see the rookie third baseman as a strictly platoon option.
"I do want to get him in there, for the record," Wedge said. "I don't want to just play him against left-handers. I'm going to find a way to get him in there more."
Hernandez pitched a gem April 19 against the Indians at Safeco Field, throwing eight scoreless innings, striking out 12 and walking one. But the Mariners' bullpen blew the lead in the ninth, and Hernandez was stuck with a no-decision in the 2-1 loss.