If you are feeling a little bit of déjà vu, that is to be expected with the way the 2018 Major League Baseball schedule has worked itself out. For the second straight week, the Indians and Twins will meet on the diamond, with Cleveland playing the host to the visiting Minnesota club.
Cleveland (61-49) will look to continue its better play of late, winning back-to-back series over the Twins and the Los Angeles Angels. They dropped a sloppy 7-4 decision on Friday, but rebounded with a strong 3-0 shutout on Saturday and held on for a 4-3 win on Sunday in the season finale with the Halos. The Indians moved their season record against the Twins to 5-7 with their performance last week against their division rival. They will be looking to prevent Minnesota from locking up the season series between the two clubs.
Minnesota (52-58) finally dropped a series to Cleveland last week, when the Indians won the final two games of the series to take a set from the Twins for the first time in 2018. They did not let that ill effect linger as they returned to the Target Field diamond and swept the visiting Kansas City Royals in three straight, putting up 20 runs while allowing eleven to improve to 3-1 in August. The Twins enter the day in second place in the American League Central, nine games in back of the Indians.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Monday, August 6, 7:10 PM ET – RHP Kyle Gibson (5-8, 3.47 ERA) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (10-6, 2.34)
Gibson last started against the Tribe and pitched well despite taking his eighth loss of the season in a 6-2 defeat. He worked six innings in his fourth quality start in five outings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. He was coming off of a career-high 120-pitch appearance against Boston in a win on July 26. He has never fared very well against the Indians, posting a 3-7 record in his career with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP in 16 starts. This season, he is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.
Bauer earned the win in his last start against the Twins on July 31 to cap off a 3-0 mark in six July starts with a 2.03 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. That win evened his season mark against Minnesota to 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts. He owns a 5-7 record lifetime against the Twins in 18 games (17 starts) with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP, but the numbers have been much better the last two seasons (4-2 record with a sub-4 ERA). He will start the day just five strikeouts short of the 200-mark, a milestone he has never achieved (he struck out 196 last season in 176 1/3 innings).
Tuesday, August 7, 7:10 PM ET – LHP Adalberto Mejia (1-0, 2.60) vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (13-5, 3.66)
The 25-year-old Dominican-born Mejia is in his third season in the Majors after debuting in August of 2016. He is 0-1 in four career appearances in August with a 5.65 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP. He has worked in just four games for the Twins this season, making three starts (including his last one against Cleveland on August 1). He threw five innings of one-hit baseball, but walked three and hit one batter in a short outing and no-decision in a game won by the Indians, 2-0.
The veteran Carrasco looked like his old self in his start on Wednesday, when he struck out ten Twins and allowed just four hits in seven and one-third scoreless innings of work to earn his 13th win of the campaign. He has been on a tear since rejoining the club from the disabled list at the beginning of July, making five starts and one relief appearance while posting a 5-0 record with a 1.99 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and just four walks in 31 2/3 innings.
Wednesday, August 8, 7:10 PM ET – RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.60) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (7-7, 3.48)
The 28-year-old and former first round draft pick in 2008, Odorizzi has made 23 starts in his first season with the Twins after being acquired from Tampa in an offseason trade. He will be in search of his first win in a month, lasting earning a W against Baltimore on July 8. Since that start, he has twice allowed five earned runs in an outing. In his most recent start against Kansas City on August 3, he lasted just three and one-third innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two strikeouts on 75 pitches in a no-decision.
Clevinger faced the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend, making a quality start against his former club while not factoring in the decision. The Indians would lose the contest, 7-4, but he kept things close enough after allowing three runs on five hits with no walks, one hit batter, and six strikeouts. A pair of home runs hurt him the most in his first start since May 12 without a walk. The 27-year-old allowed four runs in six innings against Minnesota earlier this season and owns a 1-2 mark with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in his career over eight appearances (five starts).
Thursday, August 9, 1:10 PM ET – RHP Jose Berrios (11-8, 3.51) vs. RHP Corey Kluber (14-6, 2.63)
Berrios will make his third start of the year against the Indians, the team that he debuted against in his MLB premiere. The 24-year-old took a tough no-decision in that first outing in Puerto Rico on April 18, allowing three hits over seven scoreless innings in his native country. He faced them again on June 1, giving up four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings, but he took home the win in a 7-4 victory. He is 3-2 against Cleveland in his career with a 4.32 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP in six starts.
Kluber will look to build off of an impressive showing against the Angels on Saturday night, when he fired a three-hit complete game shutout to earn his 14th win of the season. It gave Kluber back-to-back wins for the first time since May 30-June 10 when he won three straight outings. He last faced Minnesota on June 15 to end that streak, when he allowed four runs on four hits with a pair of homers in five innings of work in what was then his shortest outing of the season. In his career against the Twins, he is 9-6 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 21 games.
TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all); Fox Sports North (all)
Radio (all): Cleveland Indians Radio Network (CLE); WCCO 830, Treasure Island Baseball Network (MIN)
TRANSACTIONS and INJURY NOTES
Cody Anderson (P) – 60-day disabled list (2/25) – recovery from April 2017 UCL surgery
Lonnie Chisenhall (OF) – 60-day disabled list (7/3) – strained left calf
Johnny Field (OF) – claimed off of waivers by Minnesota (8/3)
Nick Goody (RP) – 60-day disabled list (5/3) – right elbow inflammation
George Kontos (RP) – traded to New York Yankees for cash considerations
Evan Marshall (RP) – 10-day disabled list (6/19) – right elbow inflammation; on rehab assignment
Zach McAllister (RP) – designated for assignment (8/3)
Tyler Naquin (OF) – 10-day disabled list (7/26) – right hip surgery
Danny Salazar (P) – out for season (3/26) – recovery from right shoulder exploratory surgery
Josh Tomlin (P) – 10-day disabled list (7/10) – right hamstring strain; on rehab assignment
Bradley Zimmer (OF) – out for season (7/21) – right shoulder labrum surgery
Jason Castro (C) – 60-day disabled list (5/5) – recovery from May 2018 right knee surgery
Oliver Drake (RP) – claimed off waivers from Toronto (8/3)
Johnny Field (OF) – claimed off waivers from Cleveland (8/3); recalled from Triple-A Rochester (8/6)
Robbie Grossman (OF) – 10-day disabled list (8/6) – right hamstring strain
Michael Pineda (SP) – 60-day disabled list (2/17) – recovery from July 2017 Tommy John surgery; on rehab assignment
Aaron Slegers (RP) – 10-day disabled list (7/11) – right shoulder inflammation; on rehab assignment
TWINS NEWS AND NOTES
The Indians were able to slow down Eddie Rosario last week, something that they have done minimally over the course of the last couple of seasons. In their three-game set at Target Field, Rosario went 0-for-12 against Indians pitching with three strikeouts. The outfielder has hit just .120 over the last week in six games with two singles and a homer. All three of those hits came in the Twins’ series over the weekend against the Kansas City Royals. On the year, Rosario is the offensive leader for the Twins in a handful of categories, including average (.295), hits (131), runs (72), homers (20), and RBI (66).
Jorge Polanco has continued his good run over the last week, hitting .304 with a double and three RBI.
Max Kepler leads the Twins with nine hits and five walks over the course of the last week, putting up a .500 batting average and a .609 on-base percentage. He is one of the Twins’ leading offensive pieces, hitting 23 doubles and 14 homers while driving in 43 runs.
After working through some rust in his two games back up in the Majors (0-for-7 with five strikeouts), Miguel Sano has found himself at the plate for the Twins. In his last six games, he is 8-for-20 (.400) with three doubles and three RBI. With hits in five of his last six games, he has jumped his season average from .194 to .217.
TRIBE BY THE NUMBERS
Jose Ramirez is in the midst of another hot stretch at the plate for the Tribe. He has reached base safely in 21 straight games, putting up a .362/.494/.870 slash with a 1.364 OPS, four doubles, two triples, nine homers, and 23 RBI while also drawing 18 walks against nine strikeouts in those 89 plate appearances. His 65 extra base hits are tops in baseball. He has kept his batting average at or above the .300 mark at the end of each of the last four games in August as he continues his push towards both a home run crown and a possible MVP award.
Leonys Martin has made a difference in the Tribe lineup since coming over from Motown. In his first four games, he has gone 4-for-11 (.364) with two singles, two homers, and three RBI.
Edwin Encarnacion has hit .270 with 23 homers and 73 RBI against the Minnesota Twins during his 14-year career. Four of the homers and eleven of the RBI have come this season.
Yan Gomes remains day-to-day for the Tribe while dealing with a right hamstring issue. He will not start on Monday, but he will be available if needed off of the bench and could return to the lineup sometime this week.
The Indians head into play on Monday night tied for the American League lead in home runs with 153 (matched by Oakland). Six of those homers have come over the last six games. They are fourth in the league in runs scored with 560, 40 off of the pace of Boston, and have twice led the league in runs over the course of a month. They have also been one of the biggest threats on the bases in the league, amassing the second-most in the AL with 85 thefts.
PACK YOUR BAGS FOR A LONG GETAWAY
With the homestand completed early in the afternoon on Thursday, the Indians will hop a flight to Chicago to start a three-game series with the White Sox over the weekend. They will continue their six-game road trip back in Ohio with a three-day layover in Cincinnati against the rival Reds before an off day next Thursday.
Minnesota will continue its seven-game road trip on Friday night, when it begins a three-game series at Comerica Park against the Detroit Tigers. After Monday off, they will return to the Twin Cities to begin a seven-game homestand.
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