Game #23 – Cleveland Indians (12-10) vs. Chicago White Sox (12-12
By Matthew Van Wormer
Jack Hannahan did it again, Travis Hafner provided a little extra power (and runs) and Chris Perez slammed the door as the Indians took down the White Sox last night, 6-3 and improved their record to 12-10. It was the Indians first win against the White Sox on the year and gave them a chance to win the three game series as the rubber match ensues tonight.
Tonight, Justin Masterson (0-2, 5.40) will take the ball for the Indians, looking for his first win on a season that has not gone as planned for the ace of the staff. Since his brilliant start against the Blue Jays on opening day, the big righty has not pitched like the man he was expected to be. Were the expectations too high? Maybe, but Masterson has the talent to get things done and he has to start tonight.
Masterson will have to deal with a lineup full of players that have had some success against him. Getting Adam Dunn out will be a priority. The left handed masher has hit .400 against Masterson for his career, including a double, a home run and three RBI. Paul Konerko has also done some damage against the Tribe ace, hitting over .300 with three extra base hits and six RBI.
The Tribe hitters will match up against lefty John Danks (2-3, 6.23). Danks earned his first win of the season against the Tribe back on April 11. He didn’t perform all that well, giving up four runs in 5.2 innings, but the Indians pitching was worse that day as the White Sox prevailed 10-6. Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Hafner have both shown some of their power against the lefty (four doubles, three home runs combined) and with Choo struggling as he comes back from his hamstring injury, maybe seeing Danks will get him headed back in the right direction.
The Indians are 8-3 on the road, heading into tonight’s contest, and look to keep their road series winning streak alive. They will have their hands full, though, and will have to keep their patience at the plate and play good, fundamental baseball if they want to come away with the victory tonight in Chicago. The Indians start the battle for their fourth road series win at 7:10 central time and 8:10 here in the EST zone. SportsTime Ohio and the Cleveland Indians Radio Network will have the play by play.
Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images