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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 11, 2017

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Game #88: Cleveland Indians (45-42) at Toronto Blue Jays (44-44)

By Mike Brandyberry

Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Barnes combined to be lashed for eight runs in the bottom of the third inning Saturday and buried the Tribe in a 10-2 deficit the offense could not dig out of. The Indians, led by home runs from Shelley Duncan, Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman , cut the lead to 11-9 in the eighth inning but could not scrape any closer. Jimenez had his worst outing of the year, allowing eight runs in two and one-third innings.

The Tribe’s loss did not cost them any ground in the standings as the Chicago White Sox lost to the Kansas City Royals. The Indians are three games behind the White Sox for the American League Central Division lead and a half game ahead of the third place Detroit Tigers. Remaining in second place did cost the Indians a game in the wild card standings, however. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Tigers in 14 innings, leaving the Indians one game back of the final wild card spot.

Today, Derek Lowe (8-6, 4.43 ERA) will look to give the Indians a series victory in Toronto. Lowe will look to find the brilliance he had in his first nine starts when he was 6-1, and not his last nine starts when he has gone 2-5, with a 6.98 ERA. He was victorious in his last start on July 4 against the Los Angeles Angels, winning 12-3. Lowe has won three of his last four decisions against Toronto and is 5-4 lifetime against the Blue Jays.

Toronto will counter with Carlos Villanueva (3-0, 3.05 ERA) on the mound. The right-hander is trying to pick up the slack for the several injured Blue Jay starters. Villanueva originally began the year in the bullpen, throwing three and one-third innings of scoreless relief in two appearances against the Tribe in the season opening series. However, he is making his third start of the year. Last season, as a starter, elbow problems became his kryptonite. If the Indians can score early it could force Toronto to the bullpen early, that is already tired after using four relievers Saturday.

Game action begins at 1:07 from the Rogers Centre and can be seen on WKYC-3 with Matt Underwood and Rick Manning. Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus will bring the radio broadcast t0 1100-WTAM and the rest of 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

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. Ben Francisco, LF
9. J.P. Arencibia, C

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images