Game Preview #53: Minnesota Twins (19-33) at Cleveland Indians (28-24)
By Mike Brandyberry
Saturday evening the Indians let one get away when Josh Tomlin had a rocky first inning and the Indians could not get the timely hit to break open a big inning. Tony Sipp allowed a two run home run to Joe Mauer in the sixth inning and the Twins evened the series at a game a piece with a 7-4 victory.
This afternoon the Tribe will try to win the series against Major League Baseball’s worst team and remain one and one half games back in the American League Central Division standings behind the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox had their nine game winning streak snapped yesterday against the Seattle Mariners.
Justin Masterson (2-4, 5.14) will take the mound for the Indians, looking to rebound from a rough last outing. Masterson allowed seven runs in the first two innings on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals en route to an 8-2 defeat. A year ago—when Masterson dominated—he was 1-0, with a 2.12 ERA in five starts a year ago against the Twins
He’ll be opposed today by Scott Diamond (3-1, 2.27) from Minnesota. Diamond is 1-1, with a 4.08 ERA in his last three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Rochester. He had thrown 14 scoreless innings at Rochester before being recalled. To win the series, the Tribe will have to improve upon its 4-10 record when left-handed starting pitchers take the mound.
One right handed bat that will most likely be in the lineup today is newly recalled, Matt LaPorta. He replaces Johnny Damon on the 25-man roster. Damon was placed on the paternity list after last night’s game. He’ll be joining his wife in Orlando, Florida, to celebrate the birth of their twin daughters. LaPorta, who has been playing left field in Triple-A Columbus, has hit 14 home runs with 32 runs batted in. He could become the right handed bat the Tribe has been looking for to spark the Tribe offense.
Game time is not until 3:05 at Progressive Field and the game can be found on the Indians Radio Network and SportsTime Ohio. This afternoon’s game will conclude Carlos Baerga’s trip to Cleveland this weekend with his bobblehead as a giveaway to fans.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Jose Lopez, 3B
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Shelley Duncan, DH
7. Matt LaPorta, 1B
8. Aaron Cunningham, LF
9. Lou Marson, C
Minnesota Twins Starting Lineup
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Brian Dozier, SS
8. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images