Indians Look to Get Back in Win Column Against White Sox
Bob Toth | On 09, Jun 2017
Cleveland’s issues in interleague play continued this week as it fell to 1-7 against National League opponents after a sweep by the Rockies in Colorado on Tuesday and Wednesday. With interleague done, at least for the next three games, the Indians will need to improve upon a disappointing 12-14 record at Progressive Field this weekend while hosting the Chicago White Sox, or risk falling back to or below the .500 mark for the season.
The Indians (29-28) did not take advantage of the high altitudes and friendly hitting environment of Coors Field, putting up just four runs in the brief two-game sweep in Denver. They will now have to take advantage of their long-time opponent in the White Sox, who have struggled for much of the season and now find themselves looking up at all four teams in a sloppy AL Central this season.
The White Sox (25-33) have held their own against the Indians this season, posting a 3-3 record. Both teams have scored 19 runs in the six games played thus far. The Sox as a whole have maintained in the Central, posting a 6-6 mark against Detroit, a 5-2 mark against Kansas City, and a 3-5 record with Minnesota. After posting a winning mark overall of 13-10 in April, they were just 11-18 in May and are off to a rough 1-5 start to June. In their six games this month, they have been outscored 44-20 by Detroit and Tampa. They have lost seven of their last eight, dating back to their final May series with Boston.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
The 33-year-old right-hander Gonzalez had a rough outing in his first start of June as the Detroit Tigers took him deep three times and racked up ten hits and six runs in total against him over six innings of work in a 10-1 loss. He has lost six times in his last seven starts after earning wins in three of his first four starts of the season. His lone no-decision for the season came against the Indians during that winning stretch to begin the year. He is 4-1 against Cleveland in his career with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP.
Kluber made his return after nearly a month on the disabled list and was impressive in that effort against the Oakland A’s on June 1, throwing six scoreless innings of two-hit baseball while striking out ten batters. It will be his second start of the season against the White Sox; his first was a complete game three-hit shutout on April 21. He is 7-4 in 16 career appearances against Chicago with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.
The left-hander Holmberg will make his first career appearance against the Indians on Saturday night. The 25-year-old has worked eight times in relief for the Sox this season since being recalled at the beginning of May and has made a pair of starts into the fourth inning in his last two appearances. He has never faced the Tribe in his four-year MLB career, including time in the Bigs in 2013, 2014, 2015, and this season.
Tomlin was dealt his fourth loss in his last five starts, but it was not all bad as he allowed three runs on seven hits in a quality seven and one-third innings in a game that the Indians would lose 7-3 to the Kansas City Royals. He was coming off of his best start of the season, when he threw a complete game against the Royals, allowing just a run on six hits. He has faced the White Sox once this season and it did not go well – he allowed seven runs on eight hits and retired just five batters in his second start of the season. He is 4-4 against them in his career overall.
The 28-year-old Quintana, set for free agency following the 2018 season, was thought to be one of the top arms available in front of the trade deadline this season while a member of a rebuilding White Sox roster, but his trade value may be at its lowest point ever as he has struggled extensively this season. He is coming off of a short, but better, start in his last outing in Tampa Bay. He lasted five and one-third innings, giving up a run on four hits, but walked four while striking out seven in the no-decision. He has not won since his first start of May against Kansas City.
Carrasco is coming off arguably his worst start of the season his last time out, when he surrendered five runs in four and one-third innings to the Kansas City Royals. He was much more productive in his previous outing, his second after exiting a start with a sore left pectoral muscle. He took a no-decision in his first start against the White Sox this season, allowing a run on four hits over seven innings. He is just 4-9 against Chicago in his career in 19 games.
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (6/9, 6/11); WGN (6/9); CSN-Chicago (6/11); Fox (6/10); MLB Network (6/11)
Radio (all games) – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; WLS 890 (Chicago)
Abraham Almonte (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/16) – right biceps strain; on rehab assignment
Cody Anderson (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/2) – right elbow surgery
Mike Clevinger (SP) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (6/7)
Kyle Crockett (RP) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (6/7)
Edwin Encarnacion (DH/1B) – day-to-day – mild hip discomfort
Brandon Guyer (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/14) – left wrist sprain
Danny Salazar (P) – 10-day disabled list (6/4) – right shoulder soreness
Dylan Covey (P) – 10-day disabled list (5/26) – left oblique strain
Brad Goldberg (RP) – optioned to Triple-A Charlotte (6/9)
Nate Jones (RP) – 10-day disabled list (5/1) – right elbow neuritis
Zach Putnam (RP) – 10-day disabled list (4/23) – right elbow inflammation
Carlos Rodon (SP) – 60-day disabled list (3/30) – left biceps bursitis; on rehab assignment
Tyler Saladino (2B) – 10-day disabled list (5/27) – back spasms
James Shields (SP) – 10-day disabled list (4/18) – right lat strain; on rehab assignment
Geovany Soto (C) – 60-day disabled list (5/8) – recovery from May 2017 right elbow surgery
Charlie Tilson (CF) – 60-day disabled list (3/30) – stress reaction in right foot
Michael Ynoa (RP) – 10-day disabled list (6/3) – right hip flexor strain
AL CENTRAL STANDINGS
Friday’s contest between the two clubs will be broadcast live on Facebook Live with no blackout restrictions. A special MLB Network pregame show will occur before the action between Kluber and Gonzalez that night.
Abreu has excelled against Kluber in his career, hitting two doubles, three homers, and driving in seven runs in 38 total plate appearances (.333 batting average, .639 slugging mark). In those trips, he has also struck out ten times. He is 6-for-15 against Tomlin with two doubles and a solo home run.
Garcia is still performing at an All-Star caliber level this season, hitting .330 with a .368 on-base percentage for the year with 12 doubles to go with his ten homers, three triples, and 42 RBI, the top mark on the club. In the last week, he has hit .400 with six singles, three walks, and three RBI.
Garcia has a .320 average with a double, two homers, and five RBI, but has struck out in eight of his 25 at bats against Kluber. He has taken Carrasco deep with a solo shot, but has struck out in seven of his 23 plate appearances with a pair of double play balls.
Three of Frazier’s ten homers on the year have come in the last week during his hot streak at the plate. He has hit .348 in his last six games with the three homers, three singles, two homers, and five RBI.
Melky Cabrera owns a .379 average against Kluber with four doubles, a triple, and three RBI in 29 plate appearances. He has had nothing to show for his trips to the box against Tomlin, hitting .130 (3-for-23) with two singles and a triple to his credit. He has a pair of homers and eight RBI against Carrasco in his 35 career plate appearances against the Tribe right-hander.
INDIANS IN DEPTH
Current Indians hitters have batted .275 off of Quintana in their careers.
Lonnie Chisenhall is 6-for-13 in his career against Gonzalez with three doubles, a homer, and five runs batted in. Friday is the anniversary of his nine-RBI game against Texas in 2014.
Three of Michael Brantley’s four career hits off of Gonzalez have dropped for extra bases. He has a pair of doubles and a homer off of him in 12 career trips to the plate. He has also been the club’s top performer against Quintana in their head-to-head matchups as he has 15 hits in 30 at bats (.500) off of him despite the lefty-lefty battle. He has four doubles, a homer, two walks, two sacrifices, and has driven in six off of him.
Austin Jackson is 4-for-7 in his career against Gonzalez with two walks, a double, and a solo home run. Against his former teammate Quintana, he has a .310 average with six singles, a double, a triple, a homer, and four RBI.
Jose Ramirez is 9-for-27 against Quintana with three doubles.
Francisco Lindor is 0-for-6 with two strikeouts and two walks against Gonzalez. He has just three hits in 21 plate appearances against Quintana with a double and two RBI.
The Indians will take their third day off in the last eight days on Monday before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will make their first trip to Cleveland since 2003, on Tuesday. The two clubs have played in 2008 and 2014 in Los Angeles, but the Dodgers remain the team that the Indians have played the least in their 117-year history. The White Sox will return home to Chicago for a four-game set against Baltimore, but will quickly return to the road for three in Toronto and three more against Minnesota.
Photo: Jon Durr/Getty Images