Tribe Changes Sox to Start Final Road Trip of Season

The Cleveland Indians head back to the Windy City for the fourth time this season as they conclude their third road set in Chicago against the fourth place White Sox.

The Indians (87-68) have had a tough time in September, but they stepped up big against the Boston Red Sox over the weekend in a potential preview of the ALCS. The Indians needed extra inning heroics to win two out of three in the series, using eleventh inning hits by Michael Brantley and Greg Allen to claim victories. Cleveland has played well, as expected, against Chicago this season, taking 12 of the first 16 matchups while doubling up the Sox in the runs department, 86-43. The last time the clubs met a week ago, the Indians pulled out two more wins in the three games.

The White Sox (61-94) have ended the season on a positive note overall with some better play in the month of September while getting a good look at some of the kids in the organization (even though top prospect Eloy Jimenez was not among the late season additions to the roster). The White Sox dropped two of three to the cross town Cubs over the weekend, winning the opener of the set from former Sox starter Jose Quintana before suffering a pair of five-run defeats.

Kluber – Ron Schwane/Getty Images


Monday, September 24, 8:10 PM ET – RHP Corey Kluber (19-7, 2.93 ERA) vs. RHP Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.33)

Kluber hit a new career high with his 19th win of the season last Tuesday in his start against the same White Sox. He has a chance to become the first Indians pitcher to reach the 20-win plateau since Cliff Lee in 2008 if he can knock off the Sox again on Monday. His last time out, he held the White Sox to three runs in eight innings of work while striking out eleven in a victory. He enters the game leading the American League with a 1.4 walk/9 rate.

Covey will make his sixth start of the year against the Indians in the opener on Monday. He faced the Indians on the 19th in his best outing against them this season, giving up two hits and three walks while striking out five in six scoreless innings in a no-decision. It was just the second start back in the rotation for the 27-year-old. He has been significantly better at home than on the road in his career, posting a-37 record with a 4.80 ERA in 21 home contests and a 2-13 mark with a 7.55 ERA in 22 games on the road.

Tuesday, September 25, 8:10 PM ET – RHP Trevor Bauer (12-6, 2.21) vs. RHP James Shields (7-16, 4.48)

Bauer will split his start with Carlos Carrasco so that both pitchers can get in work. Bauer was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Friday and got the starting nod against the Red Sox, working an inning and one-third before turning the game over to Tyler Olson. He followed up his work with some time in the bullpen throwing to get to his desired pitch count. Carrasco will likely take over with a fresh inning when he enters and is not expected to be limited by his own pitch count.

The 36-year-old veteran Shields made a quality start in his outing last week against the Indians, but came away with a no-decision. He lasted six innings, allowing two runs (on two solo homers) on five hits with three walks, one hit batter, and one strikeout. In 23 career outings against the Indians, he is 5-8 with a 3.76 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP.

Wednesday, September 26, 8:10 PM ET – TBD vs. TBD

Neither team had announced a starter for Wednesday night’s finale from Guaranteed Rate Field at the time of this story. It was expected to be Josh Tomlin’s turn for the Indians, but he pitched in relief on Sunday night, just days after starting against the White Sox on Thursday.


TV: Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio (all); WGN (9/24); NBCSCH (9/25); NBCSCH+ (9/26)
Radio (all): Cleveland Indians Radio Network (CLE); WGN 720, WRTO 1200 (CHI)


Cody Anderson (P) – 60-day disabled list (2/25) – recovery from April 2017 UCL surgery; on rehab assignment
Lonnie Chisenhall (OF) – 60-day disabled list (7/3) – strained left calf
Nick Goody (RP) – 60-day disabled list (5/3) – right elbow surgery
James Hoyt (RP) – 60-day disabled list (9/4) – right knee inflammation
Leonys Martin (OF) – 60-day disabled list (8/9) – non-baseball related issue
Tyler Naquin (OF) – 60-day disabled list (7/26) – right hip surgery
Danny Salazar (P) – out for season (3/26) – recovery from right shoulder exploratory surgery

Chicago (AL):
Jose Abreu (1B) – day-to-day – infection in right thigh; out of hospital
Nicky Delmonico (OF) – day-to-day – neck stiffness, out since September 18
Danny Farquhar (RP) – 60-day disabled list (4/21) – recovery from April 2018 brain surgery
Miguel Gonzalez (SP) – 60-day disabled list (4/19) – recovery from July 2018 right shoulder surgery
Michael Kopech (SP) – 60-day disabled list (9/8) – recovery from September 18, 2018, Tommy John surgery

Moncada – David Maxwell/Getty Images


The White Sox boosted their meager offensive numbers against the Indians this season with a better performance in last week’s series. On the year, they have hit just .194 with a .254 on-base percentage and a .337 slugging mark with 19 doubles, four triples, 16 homers, and 43 RBI. They struck out 41 times in three games against the Indians last week.

Yoan Moncada picked up his play against the Indians last week to improve his season batting average to .271 off of Cleveland pitching. While he leads the squad with 16 hits against the Indians, he has also struck out 28 times in his 63 plate appearances against them. Over the last month, he is hitting .289 with six doubles, one triple, one homer, and eleven RBI.

Avisail Garcia has just one hit in 21 at bats (.048) against the Indians this season. He has reached base three times via walk. In the last month, he has driven in 15 runs in a 20-game span.

Daniel Palka struck out four times in last week’s series against Cleveland and has now struck out 24 times in 63 trips to the plate against the Indians this year. He remains the team’s leader in homers this season, with a team-high four coming off of the Indians.


The Indians have had their difficulties on the road this season, hitting 23 points lower away from Progressive Field with seven games remaining. The Tribe finished the home slate with a .268/.344/.446 slash with 107 homers on the year.

The Indians as a team have hit just .248 in the month of September, currently their third-worst month of the campaign. With seven games on the slate, they are just 16 walks short of equaling their season-high in walks in a month.

Brantley has hit .339 against the White Sox this season in 15 games. He has two doubles, four homers, and six RBI in those ball games and leads the club with 14 runs scored against Chicago this year. Over the last 30 days, he is hitting .352 with four doubles, three homers, and six RBI in 22 games.

Gomes – J. Miller/Getty Images

Jason Kipnis has hit well against the familiar black and white clad Sox this season, boasting a .304 mark in 14 games. He leads the club with 13 RBI off of Sox pitching and is tied for the team lead with Jose Ramirez with five homers. In the last month, he has hit .295 with six doubles, six homers, and a team-leading 23 RBI.

Yan Gomes heads into the final road trip of the season with a seven-game hitting streak active. During that stretch, he has hit .393 (11-for-28) with three doubles, two homers, and five RBI while scoring five runs. In 17 games over the last month, he is hitting .292 with five doubles three homers, and seven RBI.


The Indians will pack up quickly after the finale on Wednesday night and head to Kansas City to play the Royals in four straight beginning Thursday night to conclude the 2018 regular season schedule. The White Sox, with their home schedule complete, will head to Minnesota for four games in three days with the Twins, starting Friday.

Photo: J. Miller/Getty Images

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