Game #111: Minnesota Twins (49-61) at Cleveland Indians (50-60)
By Mike Brandyberry
“When I flip tables, I just don’t do it in front of you,” Indians Manager Manny Acta said after Tuesday’s game. “When I say bad words—in both languages—I just don’t say it in front of you. I just know how to behave, it doesn’t mean I don’t do some of the stuff you are wondering about. We’ve done everything. I’m going to take I-90 and go home. I’m not going to crash into anybody because of what’s going on. I’m going to get ready for tomorrow and play the game.”
I pity the tables in the room where Acta misbehaves.
Last night the Indians lost their eleventh straight game, blowing a one-run lead in the ninth when Casey Kotchman misplayed a ground ball at first base and Chris Perez blew his second straight save, giving the Minnesota Twins a 7-5 victory. The ninth inning meltdown saw Corey Kluber’s quality start—the first for an Indian since July 26—go by the wayside.
Today the Indians will try to avoid tying their longest losing streak in team history at 12 games, set in 1931. The Tribe will send staff ace Justin Masterson (7-10, 4.78 ERA) to the hill to try and stifle the Tribe’s misfortune. Masterson’s recent struggles are as much as any reason for the team’s losing ways. Staff aces normally stop streaks, but Masterson has only fanned the flames, going 1-2, with an 8.44 ERA in his last four starts. He allowed seven runs in four innings at Detroit last Friday.
The Twins will counter with Brian Duensing (2-6, 4.39 ERA) and could be just the kryptonite the Twins need to send the Indians to their historic mark. The left-handed starter defeated the Indians on July 29, allowing one run and five hits over six innings in a 5-1 Minnesota victory. The Tribe will have to avoid history while defeating a left-handed starter, something the team has failed to do consistently all season. Cleveland is 10-24 against southpaw starters.
Cleveland will not have designated hitter Travis Hafner available to help the offense today. Hafner has missed the last two games due to lower back stiffness. Acta said Tuesday that if Hafner was unable to play on Wednesday, the team would consider more extensive treatment and an MRI.
Today’s game begins at 12:05 pm at Progressive Field and in order to see the Tribe make history, or avoid it, you’ll have to buy a ticket. No television is available for today’s game. The game can be heard on WTAM-1100 AM and the rest of the Indians Radio Network.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, DH
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Lou Marson, C
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Brent Lillibridge, 3B
Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images