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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | September 21, 2017

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Game #102: Cleveland Indians (50-51) at Minnesota Twins (42-58)

By Mike Brandyberry

Saturday evening the Indians fell apart in the fourth inning and never recovered. They allowed the Minnesota Twins to score in every inning after the fourth and the Tribe was embarrassed in defeat, 12-5. For a team with playoff hopes, the Indians are not taking care of the bottom dwellers of the American League. Instead, the Twins may be ending the Indians playoff dreams before the calendar hits August.

Cleveland has again slipped below .500 and now five and one-half games in back of the division leading Chicago White Sox. The White Sox helped strengthen their pitching staff last night when they acquired Francisco Liriano from the Twins. The southpaw was scheduled to start on Sunday against the Tribe.

The Indians may have thought they had caught a break when Liriano was dealt, thinking they would avoid another southpaw, but the Twins have replaced him with lefty Brian Deunsing (1-6, 4.86). Deunsing has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this season, but has made four previous starts. He is 0-4, with a 10.13 ERA this season when he starts the game. However, Deunsing has success against the Indians, going 4-1 with a 3.00 ERA against the Indians, including five starts. Nearly any left-handed pitcher gives the Tribe fits.

Cleveland will try to avoid the sweep against the lowly Twins with Ubaldo Jimenez (8-9, 4.97 ERA) on the mound.  Jimenez pitched a spectacular six innings against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. He shut out the Motor City Kitties, scattering seven hits, but did not receive the win. Reliever Joe Smith allowed t two-run home run to Miguel Cabrera to tie the game before the Indians could come back and take the lead on a suicide squeeze. Jimenez is 2-1, with a 2.11 ERA in three career starts versus the Twins. Today will be his first start of the season against Minnesota.

The Indians will try to salvage the final game of the three game set at Target Field beginning at 2:05 pm et. The game can be heard on WTAM-1100 and the entire Indians Radio Network, while it can be viewed on Sports Time Ohio.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Carlos Santana, DH
4. Jose Lopez, 3B
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Lou Marson, C
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Brent Lillibridge, 2B

Minnesota Twins Starting Lineup
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Brian Dozier, SS
9. Alexi Casilla, 2B

Photo: Getty Images