Game #63: Pittsburgh Pirates (32-30) at Cleveland Indians (32-30)
By Mike Brandyberry
After a road trip that started so promising, the Tribe limps home after a sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds. Yesterday, Josh Tomlin was roughed up early and the weak underbelly of the Tribe bullpen was again exploited as the Reds won, 12-5.
Yesterday’s game concluded a nine-game road trip that saw the Tribe take two of three from Detroit and St. Louis, before heading to Cincinnati. The Indians return home to Progressive Field for the conclusion of Marine Week in Cleveland and a six-game homestand with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Reds. The Pirates have the same record as the Indians and currently trail the Reds by three games in the National League Central Division standings.
The Indians will send Justin Masterson (2-6, 4.76 ERA) to the mound tonight to help the Tribe end their skid. Masterson has been on a skid of his own of late losing his last three starts. A loss tonight would be a record setter for his career. He received no run support last Saturday evening against the St. Louis Cardinals, when he lost a hard fought start, 2-0. Despite the strong outing in St. Louis, Masterson is 0-3, with a 5.21 ERA over his last four outings.
Pittsburgh will send James McDonald (5-2, 2.39 ERA) to counter Masterson. McDonald struggled last Saturday against Kansas City, allowing three runs and five hits in only four innings of work. The Pirates were still able to win the game, 5-3. Six of McDonald’s last eight starts have resulted in Pirates’ victories. He is quickly pitching himself into contention for the National League All-Star Game.
McDonald will try to keep Michael Brantley off the bases tonight. Brantley had one hit yesterday to extend his current hitting streak to 21 games. His streak is now the longest in the Majors this season.
The Indians activated Jack Hannahan from the disabled list and optioned Scott Barnes to Triple-A Columbus this afternoon. Hannahan had been rehabbing at Columbus and Lake County this week. He played nine innings at Lake County last night without any complications or discomfort. It will be interesting to see how he and Lonnie Chisenhall co-exist at third base.
The game can be seen on SportsTime Ohio and heard on the Indians Radio Network. New on Friday nights are Indians broadcasts on FM-WMMS. First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm.
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, DH
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B
Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Lineup
1. Alex Presley, LF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Garrett Jones, DH
5. Casey McGehee, 1B
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
7. Jose Tabata, RF
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Josh Harrison, SS
Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images