Game #60: Cleveland Indians (32-27) at Cincinnati Reds (32-27)
By Mike Brandyberry
Baseball is a game that often finds itself being symmetrical. Despite being at different ends of the state, the Indians and Reds are mirror images of one another in several ways. The two teams enter the three game series in Cincinnati with the same record and each in contention for the lead in the Central Division. The Indians enter the series one-half game out of the American League Central Division, the Reds are tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the National League Central Division lead.
The three game series is the final leg for the Tribe on a key nine game road trip. Jeanmar Gomez (4-4, 4.97) will look to get back on track for the Indians. He has had three consecutive rough starts, despite beating the Detroit Tigers in his last outing, 9-6. Gomez has allowed at least five runs in each of his last three starts. The right hander will look to return to spotting his fastball and using his slider as a strikeout pitch, something Indians manager Manny Acta raved about a month ago.
The Reds will counter with Johnny Cueto (6-3, 2.63). Cueto snapped a two-game losing streak on Wednesday, defeating the Pirates, 5-4. He pitched seven and two-third innings, allowing three runs. He is quite dominant over the Indians, however. Cueto is 2-0, with a 2.49 ERA in four starts against the Tribe. While the two teams seem symmetrical, the Indians seem to be getting hot, wining four of their last six, while the Reds have dropped five of their last seven games and are 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Jack Hannahan began a rehabilitation trip to Triple-A Columbus last night. The Tribe third baseman has missed much of the last month, first with a sore back, then a strained left calf. Tonight, he will appear at Low-A Lake County.
“The calf feels good and my back feels good. I’m just excited to get back out there and compete,” Hannahan said prior to batting practice in Lake County this afternoon. “The big thing is when you miss that much time you gotta get back out there and get your legs under you, see some pitches and get your timing down.” The plan is for Hannahan to play third base for six innings tonight, then nine innings on Thursday. From there the Indians will evaluate his progress.
The Indians also announced prior to the game that they have acquired Esmil Rogers from the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations. To make room for Rogers on the 40-man roster, Luke Carlin has been designated for assignment. Rogers is out of options, meaning the Tribe will have to make a move on the 25-man roster after the game or tomorrow.
Game action begins at 7:10 from Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. The game can be heard on the Indians Radio Network or seen on SportsTime Ohio.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Johnny Damon, LF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
9. Jeanmar Gomez, P
Cincinnati Reds Starting Lineup
1. Chris Heisey, CF
2. Wilson Valdez, SS
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. Todd Frazier, 3B
7. Ryan Ludwick, LF
8. Ryan Hanigan, C
9. Johnny Cueto, P
Photo: Getty Images