Series Preview #44: Cleveland Indians (66-69) at Chicago White Sox (65-70)
Bob Toth | On 07, Sep 2015
The last time that the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox met, the Pale Hose embarrassed the Tribe on their home turf and began a hot streak that placed them right back into contention in the American League Wild Card race.
Now, the Indians (66-69) get to go into the Sox’s home, but once again have the displeasure of catching their division rivals on a bit of a tear. Cleveland continues to hang around on the outside of the AL Wild Card picture looking in, five games in back of the Texas Rangers for the second of the spots available and ten games behind the New York Yankees. So, best for the Tribe to keep their targets set on Texas. Meanwhile, the Rangers will head to Seattle for four games against the Mariners, who are 8-4 against Texas this season.
The Indians finally played better against the Tigers this weekend, even though the team is not quite the same team that Cleveland faced earlier in the season. The Tribe won an 8-1 final on Friday, powered by a four-run fifth inning. They could not figure out Alfredo Simon on Saturday, dropping a 6-0 decision. They retaliated on Sunday with a 4-0 win over the Tigers as Tribe pitching limited Detroit to just three hits and were backed by a two-run sixth inning triple from Francisco Lindor.
The White Sox (65-70) have won four straight, their longest streak since a seven-game stretch in July that started with their sweep of Cleveland at Progressive Field. They shut down one of the best teams in baseball on their home field over the weekend, winning a 12-1 final on Friday before a 6-1 win on Saturday and a 7-5 victory over Johnny Cueto on Sunday afternoon.
PITCHING PROBABLES and GAME NOTES
After a strong eight innings with just one run allowed in his previous start, Bauer was tagged for five runs in one and one-third inning in his start against Toronto during the week and was dealt his eleventh loss of the season. He has made four career starts in Chicago and three at U.S. Cellular Field, posting a 1-0 record with a 3.60 ERA. Sale was an All-Star for the fourth straight season this year. He has failed to pitch into the sixth inning in just one of 26 starts this season. He struck out ten in a no-decision in his last outing against Minnesota. He is 4-4 lifetime against the Indians in 23 career games, including a dozen starts, with a 3.86 ERA.
Carrasco will return from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday to take on the Sox after dealing with shoulder soreness. He is 3-6 in12 career games against the White Sox, including a 1-2 mark with a 9.00 ERA in three games this season. The 22-year-old rookie Rodon, who made his Major League debut in relief against the Indians earlier in the season, will already be making his fourth appearance against Cleveland this season and his third start. He is 1-0 in his career against the Indians with a 1.80 ERA.
The Indians’ “Little Cowboy” is coming off of a complete game win over Detroit on Friday night, when he allowed a run on four hits while striking out six. He is 0-2 in his career in five career games against the White Sox with a 3.91 ERA. Samardzija has faced the Indians twice and beaten the Indians twice, allowing just one run over 14 innings of work. The 30-year-old free-agent-to-be ended a string of six consecutive losses his last time out when he allowed four runs on five hits over six and one-third innings in a win over Minnesota.
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all three); Comcast SportsNet (Monday; Wednesday); WPWR (Tuesday)
Radio – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; WSCR 670; WRTO 1200
AL WILD CARD STANDINGS
TEAM W-L PCT. WCGB STRK L10
New York 76-59 .563 +5.0 W1 7-3
Texas 71-64 .526 – L1 7-3
– – – – – – – – –
Minnesota 70-66 .515 -1.5 L1 5-5
Los Angeles 69-67 .507 -2.5 W1 5-5
Tampa Bay 67-69 .493 -4.5 L1 5-5
Cleveland 66-69 .489 -5.0 W1 7-3
Seattle 66-71 .482 -6.0 W5 7-3
Chicago 65-70 .481 -6.0 W5 6-4
Baltimore 65-71 .478 -6.5 L2 2-8
Chicago leads the season series, eight games to five, after they swept four straight from the Indians during the two clubs’ last matchup. Cleveland, however, has won three straight at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox hold a 33-game edge in the all-time series between the two teams, winning 1,065 and losing 1,032. They have outscored the Indians by a total of 75 runs in their 2,114 meetings dating back to 1901.
ON THE MEND
Carlos Carrasco (SP) – 15-day disabled list (August 22) – right shoulder bursitis; to be activated Tuesday
Nick Hagadone (RP) – 60-day disabled list (July 8) – recovery from July 2015 left elbow surgery
T.J. House (SP) – 60-day disabled list (September 4) – left shoulder inflammation
Corey Kluber (SP) – day-to-day – right hamstring strain (September 4)
LEADERS IN THE CLUBHOUSE
Michael Brantley is the leader in all of baseball in doubles with 42. He remains near the top of the leaderboard in the AL in batting average with a .319 mark and a .389 on-base percentage.
Jason Kipnis is fourth in the AL in doubles with 37 and is seventh in hitting with a .311 average. He trails Brantley in OBP by four-thousandths of a point (.385).
Carlos Santana is second in the AL in walks with 87.
Lindor leads all AL rookies in batting average with a .306 mark this season, two-thousandths ahead of Toronto’s Devon Travis.
Jose Abreu leads the White Sox with a .293 batting average and is second on the team in on-base percentage with a .349 mark. He also leads the club in both homers (25) and RBI (83) in his sophomore season.
Outfielder Adam Eaton leads the club with a .351 OBP.
With their nine-game road trip in the books, the Indians will return home to Cleveland to start an eleven-game homestand, beginning with the Tigers for four games. The White Sox will take Thursday off before hosting the Minnesota Twins for three over the weekend before bringing in the Oakland Athletics for four next week.
Photo: Leon Halip/Getty Images