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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | November 24, 2017

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Game Preview #82: Tampa Bay Rays (43-39) at Cleveland Indians (42-39)

By Mike Brandyberry

Yesterday the Cleveland Indians declared their Independence from the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim, defeating them 12-3 on the back of two three-run home runs, one each from Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman. The Indians won the three game series and the season series from the Angels. Yesterday’s game also declared the halfway mark for the Tribe with 42 wins and two games back of the Central Division leading Chicago White Sox.

Today the Tribe opens their final series before the All-Star Break, hosting the Tampa Bay Rays. Josh Tomlin (4-5, 5.85 ERA) will take the mound for the Indians this evening.  Tomlin was credited with a win in last Saturday’s 11-5 victory over the Orioles. He pitched six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Three of his five runs allowed were a product of a three-run Chris Davis home run. Tomlin is always susceptible to the long ball and it is a big reason he has struggled in June. Tomlin is 2-3, with a 6.89 ERA in his last six starts. He has not beat the Rays in two previous starts.

Tampa will counter with last year’s Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Hellickson (4-4, 3.44 ERA). Hellickson, like Tomlin, has struggled in the month of June going 0-4, with a 4.45 ERA in his last six starts. He only pitched three innings in his last start against Detroit when he took a line drive off the shin. Prior to his last start, Hellickson had been on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Despite pain in his shin, Hellickson feels he is ready to start.

Cleveland’s much-publicized, struggling offense has broken out over the last week. The Indians have averaged 7.5 runs a game over their last seven contests. Johnny Damon has begun to find his offensive stroke, just in time to play his former team. After going 3-for-4 yesterday, he is 13 for his last 38, with three doubles, two home runs and seven runs batted in. Travis Hafner made his return to the Tribe lineup yesterday and should hopefully provide some necessary depth and production to the lineup.

Game action is slated to begin at 7:05 pm at Progressive Field. Rain is in the forecast for most of the day, but it should clear in time for the game to begin as scheduled. All the action can be seen on SportsTime Ohio and heard on the Indians Radio Network.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Michael Brantley, CF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Johnny Damon, LF
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Lineup
1. Desmond Jennings, LF
2. Carlos Pena, DH
3. Ben Zobrist, RF
4. B.J. Upton, CF
5. Luke Scott, 1B
6. Will Rhymes, 3B
7. Jose Molina, C
8. Elliot Johnson, SS
9. Sean Rodriguez, 2B

Photo: Gail Burton/AP Photo