Game Preview: Oakland (60-74) vs. Cleveland (66-65)

 

By Matt Van Wormer

The Indians were finally able to make up some ground in the Central Division race last night as they took down the Oakland Athletics on the same night that the Detroit Tigers lost to the Kansas City Royals.  With the Chicago White Sox also winning last night, the Central Division now has the Tigers leading by five games over Chicago and five and a half games over Cleveland.  The Indians will take the field tonight, again trying to narrow the gap.
Jeanmar Gomez (0-2, 5.70, 1.65 WHIP), who many thought should have gotten the spot start last week instead of Zach McAllister, will take the hill and try to show the form he has had in Columbus all season long.  In AAA, Gomez has been very effective, going 10-7 with a 2.55 ERA in 21 starts.  Hopefully, he will also be able to get some help from the offense which is still trying to find a way to wake up.  Gomez did face the A’s earlier this year, taking a No Decision, throwing 5.1 innings and giving up just one run.
Oakland counters with Trevor Cahill (9-12, 4.13, 1.41 WHIP) who started out the season at 6-0 before hitting some rough spots against the likes of the Yankees, Angels, White Sox and Red Sox.  Cahill will be happy to see August go away as he is 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA on the month.  None of the Indians players have extensive experience against Cahill.  Asdrubal Cabrera has 10 at-bats against the righty, the most of any Tribe player, and has a double, a single and two RBI.
The Indians need to keep winning if they are going to be a player in the last month of the season.  They still have six games to play against Detroit and eight against Chicago.  If they can get their hitting straightened out, there is no reason that the Indians can not catch and overtake both of those teams.  The Tribesman need to man-up and keep getting those “W’s.”
Cleveland Indians, Starting Lineup:
4. Jim Thome, DH
Oakland Athletics, Starting Lineup
2. Coco Crisp, CF
Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

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