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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | October 19, 2017

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Game Preview: Minnesota (60-95) vs. Cleveland (77-78)

By Matt Van Wormer

With seven games left in the regular season, the Indians sit just one game under .500 and hold a 1.5 game lead over the Chicago White Sox in the race for second in the Central Division.  They earned that lead last night as they laid the wood to the pale hose in the final meeting of the two teams in 2011.  The win gave Jeanmar Gomez his fifth straight victory.
 
It was an historic night as both Asdrubal Cabrera (team single season home run record for a shortstop) and Travis Hafner (1,000th career hit) reached milestones and gave the fans in attendence a lot to cheer about.  In addition to his home run, Cabrera also drove in five runs in the 11-2 victory.
 
Tonight, the Indians have a chance to get back to .500 as they take on the lowly Minnesota Twins on a night that will celebrate Jim Thome, his career and his 600th home run.  It should be a great night at the ballpark, as long as the weather cooperates.
 
Tonight, Justin Masterson (12-10, 3.15, 1.25 WHIP) takes on Carl Pavano (8-13, 4.40, 1.38 WHIP) in the series opener.  These same two pitchers did battle against each other on Sunday with Masterson earning the victory and Pavano taking the loss in the 6-5 contest.
 
Masterson has doubled his career high in wins which was six before this season.  He has also added to his career high in innings by 30+ which could explain his cooling off over the past month.  Only one of those 12 wins has come against the Twins as he has taken no-decisions in three of his four outings against Minnesota.  Justin Morneau has done the most damage against the Big Nasty with five RBI, two doubles and a home run.
 
Pavano has seen a drastic drop from 2010 to 2011 as his win total is nowhere near the 17 he won a year ago.  The decrease in wins seems to be from a lack of run support as his 2011 numbers have not dipped much from last season.  One person who will not be happy to see Pavano is Asdrubal Cabrera who has just one hit in 23 career at-bats against the right hander and has struck out five times.
 
A lot will be expected of the starters for both teams tonight as they are scheduled to play a day-night double header tomorrow.  Unfortunately, the threat of rain could ruin any chance either team has of keeping their bullpen fresh.  Game time is scheduled for 7:05 this evening but get down to the park early for the Thome Festivities!

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup:
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Jim Thome, DH
 
 
Photo: Marilyn Indahl/Getty Images