Twins Return to Tribe Town for a Three-Game Series in Cleveland
Bob Toth | On 28, Aug 2018
For the third time this month, the Indians and Twins will meet on the diamond as Minnesota makes its second trip of August to the city of Cleveland.
The Indians (74-56) will welcome a return home to Cleveland after a tough seven-game road trip over the last week. After splitting with the MLB-best Boston Red Sox to start the week, they dropped two of three to the Kansas City Royals, including a tough loss in the series opener when back-to-back ninth inning homers turned a 4-3 lead into a 5-4 loss in the matter of four pitches. The Tribe has recovered from a rough start to the season against the Twins to pull their season record against the second place club to 8-8. The Indians remain 16-8 in August with a +32 run differential for the month.
Minnesota (61-69) has moved closer Fernando Rodney since the clubs last met. The Twins have dropped three in a row and four of their last five after losing a home set against the Oakland A’s. The Twins have played eleven of their last 13 games at home and will play just their third road series of the month in their second road trip. Both have taken them to Cleveland. Minnesota is ten games over at home for the year, but is 22-40 on the road in 2018.
PITCHING PROBABLES and NOTES
Gibson was roughed up his last time out, giving up three home runs and seven runs in total to the Chicago White Sox on August 22 for his tenth loss of the season. While Gibson is just 3-8 in his career (and 1-2 this season) against the Indians with a 5.28 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP in 17 starts, he has done better at Progressive Field. There, he is 3-2 with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in eight starts. His last start against the Indians came in Cleveland on August 6, when he was charged with six runs (four earned) in five innings of a 10-0 loss.
Carrasco, 31, has had a good August despite a tough start his last time around. He is 3-2 in the month in five starts with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP with 39 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. His last time out, he lasted just three and two-thirds innings in Boston against the Red Sox, where he allowed five runs on eight hits in a defeat. Minnesota has been an issue for Carrasco this season – he is 1-3 against them in five starts with a 4.56 ERA to drop him to 6-9 lifetime in 22 games with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
Stewart, a 23-year-old right-hander, was a first round pick and the fourth overall by the Twins in the 2013 draft. Stewart got the call-up just over two weeks ago and has been unable to complete five innings on the mound in a pair of starts against Detroit and another against Oakland. Control has been a factor as he has walked seven in 11 2/3 innings and thrown three wild pitches while firing just 55.7% of pitches for strikes and averaging more than 20 pitches per inning. He was 3-7 with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in 21 games (19 starts) combined between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester this season.
Plutko has lost both starts since rejoining the Indians rotation in the middle of the month. He faced the Twins earlier in the year in a relief appearance on June 16 and allowed a run on two hits in a 9-3 loss. The 26-year-old right-hander has put up unusual numbers this month, as he has allowed a .195 batting average against, his best mark of the year, but his ERA is at its worst at 6.35 in 11 1/3 innings. Part of the damage has been done via the free pass, as he has issued six walks this month after walking six combined in 23 1/3 innings in June and July.
Thursday will mark a rematch of the last game played between the Indians and Twins earlier in the month. Odorizzi, a 28-year-old former first round draft pick in 2008, has factored in the decision just three times in his last eight starts. He took the L his last time out despite a good start against Oakland, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in his longest start of the season. It will be his fifth start of the year against the Indians – he is 0-2 with a 7.85 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP this season and 1-3 lifetime with a 5.89 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP in eight outings.
Clevinger has put up some of his best numbers of the year in August, when he has posted a 2-0 record in five starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He took a no-decision in his last start against the Royals on August 24, allowing three earned runs on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in six innings of work. He faced the Twins earlier in the month in his second outing against them and allowed a run on five hits in seven innings in a no-decision. He is 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts and three relief appearances in his career against the Twins.
TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (8/28, 8/29); Fox Sports North (8/28, 8/29); Facebook-WATCH (8/30)
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; on rehab assignment
Trevor Bauer (SP) – 10-day disabled list (8/12) – right fibula stress fracture
Lonnie Chisenhall (OF) – 60-day disabled list (7/3) – strained left calf
Rajai Davis (OF) – 10-day disabled list (8/20) – non-baseball medical condition
Nick Goody (RP) – 60-day disabled list (5/3) – right elbow inflammation
Evan Marshall (RP) – 10-day disabled list (8/23) – lower back spasms
Leonys Martin (OF) – out for season (8/9) – non-baseball related issue
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
Bradley Zimmer (OF) – out for season (7/21) – right shoulder labrum surgery
Matt Belisle (RP) – 10-day disabled list (8/7) – right knee chondromalacia
Jason Castro (C) – 60-day disabled list (5/5) – recovery from May 2018 right knee surgery
Adalberto Mejia (SP) – 10-day disabled list (8/8) – nerve irritation in left wrist
Logan Morrison (1B) – 10-day disabled list (8/11) – left hip impingement
Michael Pineda (SP) – 60-day disabled list (2/17) – recovery from July 2017 Tommy John surgery; on rehab assignment
Ervin Santana (SP) – 10-day disabled list (8/19) – third finger MCP joint on right hand
Aaron Slegers (P) – 10-day disabled list (7/11) – right shoulder inflammation
Bobby Wilson (C) – 10-day disabled list (8/24) – right ankle sprain
TWINS NEWS AND NOTES
Eddie Rosario has punished the Indians throughout the season. In 16 games, he leads the team with 13 runs scored, six homers, and eleven RBI against the Indians. He has hit .348 against them on the year.
Logan Forsythe has transitioned back to the American League in fine fashion in 23 games with the Twins. He has hit .337 (28-for-83) with four doubles and nine runs batted in. In five games against the Indians, he has hit .429 with a double and an RBI. He was hitting just .207 in 70 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers before the trade.
Tyler Austin has performed well with the Twins since coming over from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn trade. He is hitting .333 in 12 games with a double, six homers, and nine RBI while providing the second-most homers on the club in the second half while playing in significantly fewer games than his teammates. The 26-year-old appeared in 34 games with the Yankees before the trade, supplying six doubles, eight homers, and 23 RBI while putting up a .223/.280/.471 line.
Max Kepler is the team’s second half leader in long balls with seven. He is tied for the team lead in that span with seven doubles. After plenty of success earlier in his career against the Indians, he has struggled against them this season, posting a .186/.238/.254 slash with four doubles and three RBI. On the season, he has slashed .229/.320/.431 with 26 doubles, four triples, 18 homers, and 47 RBI.
Jorge Polanco is hitting .280 in the second half with a team-high tying 37 hits. He has seven doubles, a triple, three homers, and a team-leading 21 RBI in that span. The 25-year-old has been limited to 49 games this season due to his PED suspension, slashing .276/.338/.405 with eleven doubles, two triples, three homers, and 26 RBI. For the season in seven games, he has hit .259 against the Indians with a double, a homer, and five runs batted in.
TRIBE BY THE NUMBERS
The Indians have performed better offensively at home this season than on the road. In 63 home games, they have put up a .270/.345/.459 slash with 354 runs scored, while in 67 road contests, they have contributed a .247/.315/.421 line with 306 runs.
Greg Allen has been a big boost to the Tribe’s lineup of late and he has done some damage against the Twins this season. In eleven games (seven starts), he has hit .346 with a double and a triple while stealing six bases. Since being recalled from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the month, he has hit in 14 of 16 games with a plate appearance while batting .328. Sixteen of his 19 hits have been for singles and he has stolen seven of eight bases in that stretch.
Edwin Encarnacion has feasted on the Twins pitching in bunches. While he has hit .222 on the year in 16 games against them, he has gone deep five different times and added two doubles while driving in a team-leading 16 runs in 70 plate appearances. He has hit .263 in five games since being activated from the disabled list with three homers and six runs batted in.
Francisco Lindor leads the Indians in damage done against the Twins. He has hit .290 with a .380 on-base percentage and a .652 slugging mark with five doubles, a triple, a team-leading six homers, and 15 RBI (second to Encarnacion). He also leads the club with 12 runs scored and 20 total hits against the Twins in his 16 games. He scuffled during the just completed road trip, hitting .179 with five hits in 28 at bats while scoring just three times.
Jose Ramirez has slashed .321/.458/.643 against the Twins on the year with 18 hits and eight runs scored. Eight of those hits (three doubles, five homers) have gone for extra bases. Like Lindor, the road trip did him no favors as he hit .136 with more walks (4) than hits (3).
Melky Cabrera hit .438 with a .571 OBP and an .813 slugging during the road trip with three doubles, one homer, and two RBI in six games. Since rejoining the Indians, he has slashed .320/.386/.544 with five doubles, six homers, and 16 RBI in 33 games.
COMFORTS OF HOME
Cleveland will continue to play the host as the Tampa Bay Rays come to town over the weekend in three straight games before the Royals come to town for a rematch and their first of two September sets against them. The Twins will pack up for Texas, where they will play three with the Rangers and three more with the Houston Astros.
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images