Tribe Returns to Windy City for Four with White Sox
Bob Toth | On 11, Jun 2018
The Cleveland Indians make their second trip to Chicago this season, but just their first to the south side of town as they face the host White Sox.
The Indians (34-29) took two of three in their series over the weekend with the Detroit Tigers, with the first two games decided on late inning home runs before the Tribe bats came alive big in support of Corey Kluber to take the rubber match. The Indians and White Sox met for the first time at the end of May and Cleveland took all three home contests, outscoring the visiting club, 25-10. The Tribe has won two of its last three series in June, but are just 4-4 for the month so far.
The White Sox (22-41) are playing well so far in June against some tougher competition. They opened the month in their first series after being swept in three straight by the Tribe by taking two of three from the NL leading Milwaukee Brewers. They split a four-game set in Minnesota during the week against the Twins and followed by going into Fenway and taking two of three from the Boston Red Sox, including a 1-0 shutout on Friday against their former friend, Chris Sale.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Carrasco got back on track in his last start, earning a solid seven-inning win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He scattered eight hits during his time on the mound, walking one and allowing just one run to score while striking out ten for his second double-digit K game of the year. He had given up eleven runs over his previous nine and one-third innings in his last two starts. This will be Carrasco’s first start against the White Sox after going 3-0 against them last season in four starts with a 1.23 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP. He is just 6-9 against them in his career in 21 games with a 4.53 ERA against Chicago.
The 23-year-old Giolito made a quality start his last time out, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings of work against Minnesota to earn his fourth win of the year. In his previous start, he made his first career start against Cleveland and lasted six innings, but allowed five runs on nine hits (including a pair of home runs). Home has not always been kind to the third-year starter, as his ERA is nearly two runs higher at home than on the road.
Plutko will make his first Major League start since a tough outing against the White Sox on Memorial Day, when he allowed five runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings for the win. He returned to the minors after that outing with the Indians not needing a fifth starter until Tuesday and made sure that the club kept him in mind, losing a perfect game with one out in the bottom of the ninth but completing his no-hitter over the Washington Nationals’ Syracuse affiliate.
Shields, 36, is the long tenured veteran of the staff, but he has had another tough year for the Sox. He has lost seven straight decisions since winning his first start of the season. His record could be seen as deceiving, as he has allowed three runs or less in eight of his 13 starts on the year. He was shelled for his seventh defeat of the year in his last start on Wednesday against Minnesota, giving up seven runs on eight hits in six innings. The long ball has been a big issue in his last two outings, as he had given up just four on the year through his first 12 games, but has given up six homers in his last 13 innings on the mound. He is 4-7 in his career against Cleveland.
The 27-year-old right-hander Bauer has been baffling opposing hitters of late, racking up strikeouts by the bunches. He struck out a dozen in an eight-inning effort on Friday in the Tribe’s win in Detroit. He struck out eleven in just five and two-thirds in a loss in his previous outing and 13 in a no-decision against Houston back on May 27. He has reached double digits in strikeouts in four of his last five games. This will be Bauer’s first start against the White Sox this season; he is 6-2 lifetime with a 3.55 ERA in 14 games, including a 2-0 mark with a 2.19 ERA in a pair of starts last year.
Covey made his third start of the season against the Indians on May 28, but threw his shortest outing of the year. He worked four and one-third innings, allowing five runs (just two earned) on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. His last start was his best of the year, as he earned his second win while defeating Sale behind six shutout innings of three-hit baseball, striking out seven.
The 27-year-old Clevinger took a tough no-decision in his last start on Saturday, when the Indians fell in extra innings to the Tigers. He worked six and two-thirds innings, allowing just two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts. He has factored in the decision in less than half of his 13 outings this season. His last win this season came on May 29, when he defeated the White Sox for the first time in five tries in his career.
Rodon was on the shelf the last time the White Sox and Indians met. The 25-year-old made his first start of the season over the weekend against the Red Sox on Saturday, working five innings while allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits. He gave up a pair of homers, walked two, and struck out seven. He has faced the Indians more than any other club in his four-year career and has had a good deal of success against them, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.34 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in ten games (nine starts).
TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all); NBCSCH (all but 6/12); WGN (6/12); MLB Network (out-of-market only)
Radio (all): Cleveland Indians Radio Network (CLE); WGN 720, WRTO 1200 (CHI)
TRANSACTIONS and INJURY NOTES
Cody Anderson (P) – 60-day disabled list (2/25) – recovery from April 2017 UCL surgery
Matt Belisle (RP) – released from Triple-A Columbus to pursue other pro opportunities (6/11)
Nick Goody (RP) – transferred to 60-day disabled list (5/31) – right elbow inflammation (since 5/3)
Brandon Guyer (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/20) – left cervical strain
Evan Marshall (RP) – optioned to Triple-A Columbus (6/11)
Francisco Mejia (C/OF) – recalled from Triple-A Columbus (6/11)
Ryan Merritt (P) – 60-day disabled list (3/26) – left knee sprain
Andrew Miller (RP) – 10-day disabled list (5/26) – right knee inflammation
Tyler Naquin (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/12) – left hamstring strain; on rehab assignment
Roberto Perez (C) – day-to-day – right hand/wrist contusion (6/11)
Adam Plutko (SP) – set to be recalled 6/12, with an unknown roster move needed
Danny Salazar (P) – 60-day disabled list (3/26) – right shoulder rotator cuff tendonitis; shut down
Welington Castillo (C) – restricted list – serving 80-game PED suspension
Nicky Delmonico (OF) – 10-day disabled list (5/19) – fractured right metacarpal
Danny Farquhar (RP) – 60-day disabled list (4/21) – brain aneurysm
Avisail Garcia (OF) – 10-day disabled list (4/24) – strained right hamstring; set to begin rehab assignment
Leury Garcia (UTL) – 10-day disabled list (5/24) – left knee sprain
Miguel Gonzalez (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/19) – right rotator cuff inflammation
SOX STATS AND NOTES
When dealing with a young and unproven club, sometimes run manufacturing becomes key and the Sox have tried to do just that. They are the Major League leaders in stolen bases this season, picking off 53 this year while being caught just eleven times. They are second in the American League in strikeouts with 590 this season in 63 games and have drawn the fewest walks in all of baseball. They are tied for the league lead in triples with 19.
Jose Abreu has been one of the better hitters in the league with runners in scoring position this season. He owns a .346/.390/.712 slash in those situations with seven doubles, four homers, and 26 RBI. He has driven in a team-high seven runs in the month in ten games. He went 0-for-10 in 12 plate appearances against the Indians earlier this year with a walk and a sacrifice fly while striking out five times.
Matt Davidson missed the previous series with Cleveland while on the disabled list. He leads the team in home runs on the year with eleven and is second in RBI with 28. He has also shown a good eye at the plate, drawing 31 walks, turning a .225 batting average into a .357 on-base percentage.
Tim Anderson has been a dual threat for the Sox, showing pop and speed. He is tied for the team lead with eleven homers, is fourth on the team with 26 RBI, and is 13-for-14 stealing bases to lead the club.
TRIBE BY THE NUMBERS
Jose Ramirez’s 39 extra base hits on the season are tied for the most in baseball with Minnesota’s Eduardo Escobar. The latter was named the AL’s Player of the Week on Monday. Ramirez is second in total bases in the league with 148, trailing Boston’s J.D. Martinez (155). Ramirez is two homers in back of Martinez for the league lead.
Francisco Lindor has been a key catalyst for the Tribe’s lineup this season and he has shined brightest with runners in scoring position, putting up a .373/.500/.627 slash with runners at second and/or third, hitting four doubles and three homers, driving in 24 runs, and drawing 12 walks.
Over the last 30 days, Michael Brantley leads the Indians with 31 hits. Ramirez is tops with nine doubles and eight home runs and is tied for the team lead in RBI (19) with Edwin Encarnacion. Greg Allen is the team’s top triples man in the last 30 days with a pair. He is also tied with Rajai Davis for the team’s lead in stolen bases in that span with four in four chances.
Yan Gomes enters action on Monday with a six-game hitting streak.
The Indians will finally get an extended stay at home, as the club comes back to Progressive Field to kick off a nine-game homestand this coming weekend against the Minnesota Twins. The White Sox will continue their AL Central-themed homestand with a three-game series over the weekend against the Detroit Tigers.
The Tribe and Sox will meet again soon – the Sox will come to Cleveland for a three-gamer next Monday.
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images