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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | June 25, 2018

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Game Preview #69: Cleveland Indians (36-32) at Houston Astros (28-41)

By Mike Brandyberry

Wednesday evening the Indians completed a six game home stand and a three game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with an 8-1 victory. Justin Masterson recorded his fourth career complete game and is showing every sign of being the ace of the staff again. The Indians were able to keep their one-half game lead over the Chicago White Sox. Both teams were idle yesterday.

Today, the Indians embark on the beginning of a three city, 10-game road trip. The first leg of the trip takes the Tribe to Houston to take on the lowly Astros. The Astros are in fifth place in the NL Central and 10.5 games behind first. They are in the midst of building a young team for a move the American League West division next season.

The Indians will send Ubaldo Jimenez (6-5, 5.00 ERA) to the mound to start the three game series with Houston. Jimenez is 1-1, with a 2.75 ERA in three June starts since being skipped between starts. Jimenez received an eight day layoff after a poor outing May 27. Since the layoff, he has been closer to the starter they hoped they traded for last July 30. He has quality starts in five of his last eight outings, despite losing 9-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates last Saturday afternoon. Jimenez allowed four runs over six innings.

Lucas Harrell (6-5, 5.07 ERA) will pitch for the Astros. The right-hander has gone 2-2, with an 8.37 ERA in his last four starts, including allowing five runs in five and one-third innings against Texas on Saturday. Harrell has never faced the Tribe, but will try to pitch deep into the game to help aid a struggling Astros’ bullpen. The Astros bullpen has had a 7.27 ERA in the last 24 games.

The Indians will look to build on some recent offensive sparks. Johnny Damon is five for his last nine, including a home run in Wednesday’s game. He’s also hitting .295, with eight RBI’s since May 30, as he seems to slowly be finding his swing. Lonnie Chisenhall is hitting .380, with four extra base hits, in his last eight games. It will be interesting to see how Chisenhall and Jack Hannahan split time at third base this weekend, since the designated hitter is not available in the National League park. Manny Acta had said that Hannahan would play every other day this week, with today being a scheduled start.

Travis Hafner ran on the Progressive Field outfield this afternoon as he prepares for a return to the Indians lineup. He is expected to return in early July.

Game time is slated for 8:05 ET and can be seen on SportsTime Ohio. The game can be heard on the Indians Radio Network, including 100.7 FM-WMMS, as they will carry all Friday games for the rest of the season.

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. Ubaldo Jimenez, P

Houston Astros Starting Lineup
1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Jordan Schafer, CF
3. Jed Lowrie, SS
4. Carlos Lee, 1B
5. J.D. Martinez, LF
6. Brian Bogusevic, RF
7. Chris Johnson, 3B
8. Chris Snyder, C
9. Lucas Harrell, P

Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

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