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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | June 20, 2018

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Game #86: Cleveland Indians (44-41) at Toronto Blue Jays (43-43)

By Mike Brandyberry

Friday evening marks the start of the second half of the baseball season. It’s no longer early, scoreboard watching begins and the true race for postseason play starts tonight.

The Indians begin their second half one game behind the fifth and final wild card spot and three games in back of the Chicago White Sox for the American League Central Division. The Detroit Tigers are just one-half game behind the Tribe. The next couple weeks are important to not just the Tribe, but most of the American League since 11 of 14 teams are at or above .500. Many teams feel they are still contenders for October.

Tonight the Indians will start their second half north of the border in Toronto with Justin Masterson (5-8, 4.40 ERA). Masterson had a very inconsistent first half, with a dominant Opening Day, followed by many struggling starts. It seemed Masterson had found his old form in June and July, but was tagged for eight earned runs in four and one-third innings in his last start before the break against Tampa Bay. The Indians lost the game 10-3.

The Blue Jays will look to keep their playoff hopes alive by sending Ricky Romero (8-4, 5.22) to the mound. Romero has a solid record, but has benefitted from run support. Over his last three starts even the run support cannot help him as he is 0-3, with a 10.80 ERA. The Tribe is 9-16 against left-handed starting pitchers, but have won their last four straight against the southpaws. They’ll try to keep this success alive this evening.

Nick Hagadone was placed on the disqualified list over the break and had surgery to repair a broken left wrist and forearm, due to a self-inflicted injury. The Indians have not commented on exactly how the injury took place, but it seems logical to assume he may have punched or hit something after his outing last Friday, relieving Masterson. Hagadone was optioned to Triple-A Columbus the next day and placed on the disqualified list shortly later.

Game time is slated for 7:07 pm from the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The game can be heard on 1100-AM WTAM, 100.7-FM WMMS and the rest of the Indians Radio Network, while the game can be seen on SportsTime Ohio. Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 on each of the networks.

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

Toronto Blue Jays Starting Lineup
1. Brett Lawrie, 3B
2. Colby Rasmus, CF
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Yunel Escobar, SS
7. Kelly Johnson, 2B
8. Rajai Davis, LF
9. J.P. Arencibia, C

Photo: Getty Images

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