The Cleveland Indians returned home after a 2-4 road trip to start the second half of the season and completed a perfect 7-0 homestand against Texas and Chicago. They resume interleague play with a three-game series in Miami this weekend against the Marlins.
The Indians (60-48) have strung together eight straight wins and eleven in a row at Progressive Field. Their strong play has moved them into possession of the second wild card spot in the American League as August begins. They trail the Detroit Tigers by two games in the American League Central and are 7-4 in interleague play.
The Marlins (42-65) are 7-7 since the All-Star break. They lead the all-time regular season series between the two clubs, 8-4. They are just 3-8 in interleague play this season. They enter the series with the Indians 21 games in back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
Miami will send young 21-year-old right-hander Jose Fernandez (7-5, 2.71 ERA) to the mound against Cleveland at 7:10 PM ET on Friday night. A strong beginning to his Major League career this season earned him his first All-Star appearance in July. Ubaldo Jimenez (8-5, 4.17), coming off of eight innings of scoreless, two-hit ball against Texas in his last start, will take the ball for Cleveland.
Righty Jacob Turner (3-3, 2.65) will make Saturday’s 7:10 PM ET start for the Marlins against Zach McAllister (4-6, 3.48). The former Detroit Tiger, Turner has made eleven starts this season and has a 2.23 ERA at home. McAllister took a no-decision his last time out, allowing two earned runs in seven innings against Chicago in his second start off of the disabled list.
Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 3.47) and Scott Kazmir (6-4, 4.11) will conclude the series at 1:10 PM ET on Sunday afternoon. Eovaldi has allowed seven hits and seven walks over his last 12 innings and two starts after being hit hard in his first start following the All-Star break. Kazmir was 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in six July starts and allowed opponents to bat just .198.
All three games will be broadcast on Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and Fox Sports Florida and on the radio on both the Cleveland Indians Radio Network and the Miami Marlins Radio Network.
The Marlins split a four-game series with the New York Mets during the week.
A three-run seventh inning for the Mets gave them a 6-5 win in Miami on Monday. Turner reached the seventh inning, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Jeff Mathis drove in two runs on the night for the Marlins.
The Mets took a second straight game from the Marlins, 4-2, on Tuesday behind seven innings of three-hit ball from Zack Wheeler and a two-run single by John Buck in the tenth to deliver the go-ahead runs. Eovaldi pitched six innings and allowed two runs on four hits. Miami closer Steve Cishek, in his second inning of work in the tenth, allowed the first four batters to reach to lead off the inning, giving the Mets the advantage for good.
Miami held on to an early 3-0 lead to claim a 3-2 win on Wednesday. Henderson Alvarez pitched seven and one-third innings and allowed two runs. Rookie Jake Marisnick hit his first Major League home run. Giancarlo Stanton and Placido Polanco each delivered RBI’s.
Miami won the final on Thursday afternoon, 3-0, to split the series. Tom Koehler pitched six innings of scoreless ball. National League All-Star starter Matt Harvey lost his third decision of the season, unable to complete the sixth inning despite striking out eight on the game. Donovan Solano had a pair of runs batted in. Cishek earned his 23rd save of the season.
Polanco is batting .348 in the second half with four runs batted in.
Stanton leads the team with 13 home runs on the season. Northeast Ohio native and rookie Derek Dietrich is third on the team with nine of his own, but was demoted to Triple-A Jacksonville last week.
The Marlins are owners of Major League Baseball’s worst marks in several team stats, including: team batting average (.230), on-base percentage (.290), slugging percentage (.333), hits (830), home runs (63), RBI (321), and runs scored (341).
The Indians completed the difficult four-game sweep from the White Sox during the week, the second time they have completed the feat this season against Chicago. They had never previously swept two four-game series from Chicago in the same season. It marked the first time the Indians had swept the same team in two separate four-game series in one season since doing so against the Kansas City A’s in 1960.
The Indians took game one in walkoff fashion again on Monday night, 3-2. McAllister allowed two runs in seven innings of work. The Indians got runs from Carlos Santana with an early sacrifice fly and a groundout in the sixth from Asdrubal Cabrera before pinch hitter Jason Giambi mashed a 1-1 pitch 424 feet to center field to lead off the ninth inning to win the ball game. Chris Perez earned his third win of the year.
Late inning heroics were again needed at Progressive Field, as a four-run eighth inning gave the Indians a 7-4 come-from-behind win Tuesday night. With two on and two out in the eighth, pinch hitter Ryan Raburn singled to center to score a pair. A two-run double by Yan Gomes two batters later gave Cleveland all of the insurance runs they would need. Perez closed the ninth for his 15th save.
After allowing five runs to surrender a 3-0 lead, the Indians tied it in the ninth and won again in walkoff fashion in extras, as the Indians claimed the series on Wednesday night, 6-5, in ten innings. Corey Kluber gave the Indians eight and two-thirds innings on the mound and allowed four runs on eight hits. After Cody Allen allowed the go-ahead runs to score, Cleveland fought back with a pair of sacrifice flies to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and Santana won it in the tenth inning with a 3-2 laser beam to the seats in right.
Justin Masterson outdueled All-Star teammate Chris Sale on the way to a 7-1 victory on Thursday afternoon. Masterson allowed the White Sox’s five hits in the game in six and two-thirds innings on the mound. The Indians finally won a game without late inning suspense, as Raburn hit a pair of home runs, had three hits on the day, and drove in four RBI. Mark Reynolds ended a long drought without an RBI, extending to July 2nd, with a second inning single. Drew Stubbs and Santana both added three hits each.
Michael Bourn leads all of baseball with 14 RBI since the break. Gomes is now batting .524 in seven games since the return with four extra base hits and six RBI. Raburn, also in seven games, is batting .391 with three home runs and nine RBI.
Pitcher Josh Tomlin, trying to return from Tommy John surgery on his right arm, has begun a rehab assignment at Single-A Lake County.
The Indians acquired reliever Marc Rzepczynski from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera on Tuesday, prior to the deadline. The left-handed pitcher had been demoted by the Cardinals to Triple-A prior to the trade. He replaced reliever Vinnie Pestano, who was demoted to Triple-A Columbus, on the 25-man roster.
After returning from Miami, the Indians will take on Detroit in a key four-game series at Progressive Field, beginning Monday. The Marlins will head to Pittsburgh for a three-game series starting Tuesday against the team with the best record in baseball, the Pirates.
Photo: Thomas Ondrey/Cleveland Plain Dealer