Series Preview #17: Cleveland Indians (24-27) at Chicago White Sox (25-27)
Bob Toth | On 26, May 2014
The Cleveland Indians head to US Cellular Field on Monday afternoon to begin a three-game series with the fourth-place Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland (24-27) split a four-game set in Baltimore over the weekend. They won their fourth straight game and second consecutive 13-inning marathon on Thursday night as a Carlos Santana two-run double down the left field line proved to be the difference. Five unanswered runs in the second half of the game gave Baltimore an 8-4 win on Friday night. Cleveland rode a strong Saturday start from Corey Kluber and an offensive eruption to a 9-0 victory. The bats returned to a slumber on Sunday, as the Orioles limited the Tribe to five hits in a 4-2 final to earn a series split.
The White Sox (25-27) and New York Yankees split their four-game weekend series at two games a piece. Chris Sale won in his return from the disabled list on Thursday, 3-2, after allowing just one hit in six innings while striking out ten. They took a second straight from the Bronx Bombers in walk-off fashion on Friday, as Adam Dunn hit a two-run home run in the ninth to secure a 6-5 win. A three-run ninth inning and a Jacoby Ellsbury go-ahead home run in the tenth gave the Yankees a 4-3 come-from-behind win on Saturday. Chicago fell on Sunday, 7-1, as Masahiro Tanaka earned his seventh win of the season.
Left-hander Jose Quintana (2-4, 3.67 ERA) will make the Memorial Day start for the White Sox. He earned a no-decision in his third start of the season against Cleveland in April, allowing a solo home run worth of damage on five hits in six innings. Josh Tomlin (3-1, 2.91) will take the ball for the Indians. His scheduled start on Thursday was bumped after he pitched three innings of relief for the win in Wednesday’s 13-inning game. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 PM ET.
The lefty Sale (4-0, 1.89) will start Tuesday evening at 8:10 PM ET. It will be his second start since returning from the disabled list and his second against Cleveland this season. He earned the win on April 11th after allowing three runs in five innings. Justin Masterson (2-3, 5.32) will look to get back on the right track after allowing five earned runs on eight hits in five and two-thirds innings on Thursday.
Hector Noesi (0-3, 5.14) will start Wednesday’s 8:10 PM ET finale. It will be his first start against the Indians since May of 2012 while a member of the Seattle Mariners. Lefty T.J. House (0-1, 6.43) will make his second start of the season for Cleveland. He was tagged with the loss in his first career start after allowing five earned runs on eleven hits in six innings on Friday.
Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio will air all three games. Comcast SportsNet will air Monday’s and Wednesday’s games, while WCIU will broadcast Tuesday’s game. Radio broadcasts will be available on both the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox Radio Networks.
Second baseman Jason Kipnis is scheduled to rejoin the team in Chicago after one final rehabilitation start with the Columbus Clippers on Monday.
The White Sox have five players on the disabled list, and none more noticeable than rookie first baseman Jose Abreu. He is on the 15-day DL with posterior tibia tendonitis in his left ankle and was still in a boot as of May 22nd.
Reliever Matt Lindstrom was placed on the disabled list on May 20th with a subluxed left ankle tendon that needed surgery. Reliever Nate Jones remains on the 60-day DL after back surgery. Pitcher Felipe Paulino has been rehabbing right rotator cuff inflammation.
Outfielder Avisail Garcia is out for the season after left shoulder surgery.
HOT OR NOT
Michael Bourn is batting .400 during his current nine-game hitting streak. Five of the nine games during his current streak include multi-hit efforts. The hot stretch at the plate has pushed his season batting average up 44 points.
Kipnis has always enjoyed home cooking. He has hit .400 in his career in 23 games at US Cellular Field. His five home runs there are tied with Fenway Park for his most at any road stadium. His 21 RBI in Chicago are eight more than the next highest total. He is a career .299 hitter in 43 games against the White Sox with six home runs, ten doubles, and 28 RBI.
The steady struggles at the plate for Santana continued this week. He is hitting .162 in his last ten games to raise his batting average five points. He had hits in three of the first four games in the series against Baltimore and hit .333 with a home run and four runs batted in.
Alexei Ramirez has owned the Indians this season. In seven games, he is hitting .321 with two home runs and six RBI. After four multi-hit games in his first five against Cleveland this year, he was held hitless in his last two starts against them. He is batting .376 on the season at home and .322 overall.
Conor Gillaspie is hitting .385 in his last ten games and .385 on the season against the Indians with five RBI.
Alejandro De Aza is hitting .115 in his last ten games and just .174 on the season. He is 3-for-6 on the season against Masterson.
The Indians are now 1,020-1,052 all-time against the White Sox after taking two of three from Chicago at Progressive Field at the beginning of the month. They outscored the Sox 17-9 in the three games, including a 2-0 shutout started by Masterson on May 3rd.
WAY TO USE YOUR HEAD
Monday marks the anniversary of one of the more memorable home runs of the last twenty-some years and occurred at old Cleveland Stadium.
On May 26th, 1993, former Chicago White Sox and then Cleveland Indians corner infielder and designated hitter Carlos Martinez stepped to the plate against the Texas Rangers’ Kenny Rogers to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning.
Martinez was in his third and final season with the Indians after three seasons to begin his career with the White Sox. He was off to a good start, hitting .272 entering the game with three home runs and 16 RBI.
Martinez lifted a 2-1 pitch from Rogers the opposite way to right field. Rangers outfielder Jose Canseco drifted back and appeared to have the ball tracked down. Instead, the ball sailed past his outstretched glove, bounced off of his head, and cleared the light blue right field wall for a home run.
Martinez did not play in 1994 but returned to baseball in 1995 with the California Angels and their Triple-A affiliate. He spent time in 1996 in the Mexican League, ending his professional career.
Two of Martinez’s sons have played minor league ball. He died in January of 2006 at the age of 40.
Cleveland will return home after a day off on Thursday to begin a three-game interleague series with the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Chicago will stay in town and host the San Diego Padres on Friday after their own off day on Thursday.
Photo: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky