Game #39 – Miami Marlins (20-18) vs. Cleveland Indians (22-16)

By Matthew Van Wormer

The Indians matched their season high win streak with a 6-5, extra inning victory yesterday and look to extend it tonight when they host the Miami Marlins for their first Interleague series of 2012. Jose Lopez and Carlos Santana were the heroes yesterday as the Indians game from behind twice to win the ballgame.

Indians hitters showed great patience at the plate yesterday, drawing eight walks in the game, something they will have to continue to do tonight against Carlos Zambrano (1-2, 1.88 ERA). The Marlins have won each of Zambrano’s last three starts after losing his first four.

Casey Kotchman, Johnny Damon and Travis Hafner are the only Indians hitters with any experience against the big righty, combining to go 4-for-7. Many thought that Zambrano’s temper had taken him out of the big league game but he received a fresh start in Miami and has pitched very well so far this season, though his win-loss record doesn’t show it.

Justin Masterson (1-3, 5.40 ERA), on the other hand, has been every bit as inconsistent as his record indicates. In his last start, against Boston, Masterson gave up six runs over six innings and never really had command of the game. The guy that threw eight spectacular innings on Opening Day has not been seen since that game.

Interleague play brings in teams you rarely get to see and the Marlins look like they plan on contending in the National League East this year. They have been a tough team all season and the Indians will need to be prepared if they want to continue to hold on to the top spot in the Central Division. The Tribe and Marlins get underway tonight at 7:05 on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network and SportsTime Ohio.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Carlos Santana, C
6. Michael Brantley, CF
7. Johnny Damon, LF
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Jose Lopez, 3B

Miami Marlins Starting Lineup
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Omar Infante, 2B
3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
4. Greg Dobbs, 1B
5. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
6. Logan Morrison, DH
7. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
8. John Buck, C
9. Bryan Petersen, CF
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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