Series Preview: Indians vs. Rays

  • The Indians once again split their series on the road and remain at just .500 on the road this season. Now their focus moves to a Rays team that will look to stay hot in Cleveland. Did anyone think that the Indians would be at the top of the American League Central? Probably not. Did anyone think that the Tampa Bay Rays would be at the top of the American League East after they limped out to a 1-8 start? Probably not. Tampa is on a hot streak and so is Cleveland, at home. Can the Indians make it 14- straight at Progressive Field this season? All I know is that I want to see the seats at the Jake full tonight because fans will undoubtedly be treated to a great baseball game. Best fans in sports? Let’s see it Cleveland!

May 10-12, 2011

Progressive Field

Scouting Report

  •  Tampa Bay – After starting out a meager 1-8 the Rays have rallied and gone 19-6 since then and now sit atop the American League East. They have won a club record eight straight games on the road and will look to keep that momentum rolling in Cleveland where wins for the road team have been tough to come by. Ben Zobrist is batting .421 during a 14-game hitting streak for the Rays, who have averaged 7.0 runs during their road streak. The defense and pitching have played just as big a role in that stretch, committing one error and posting a 2.13 ERA.

 

  • Cleveland-  Since giving up 23 runs while losing its first two games at Progressive Field, Cleveland (22-11) has surrendered a total of 32 while going 13-0 at home. The Indians are looking to post the best home start in franchise history and match their third-longest home winning streak at 14, last achieved Aug. 18-Sept. 10, 1995. 

Pitching Match-up(s)

Game 1 – Andy Sonnanstine vs Josh Tomlin

  • Andy Sonnanstine  0-0, 2.19 ERA

The Northeast Ohio native tries to keep it going in his first start as he fills in for injured right-hander Jeff Niemann. Sonnanstine has been effective out of the bullpen in six appearances, but he’s made only four starts since September 2009.  His starts in Cleveland have been a disaster. He’s 0-3 with a 10.67 ERA, surrendering five homers and 25 hits in 14 1/3 innings. Journeyman third baseman Jack Hannahan is 4 for 10 with two homers off Sonnanstine.

  • Josh Tomlin  4-1, 2.43 ERA

Tomlin will look to bounce back afterbeing tagged for his first loss of the year. In his last start he surrendered just three hits, but his first two were home runs. . Tomlin has surrendered seven homers in six games, but only one has come with a man on base.

Game 2  David Price vs. To Be Named

  • David Price 4-3, 3.26 ERA

Price dominated Toronto for 8 2/3 innings in his last start, fanning 10 and not allowing an earned run for his fourth win of the season. He didn’t walk a batter and allowed just four hits, none in the same inning.

Game 3 -  James Shields vs Justin Masterson

  • James Shields  3-1, 2.01 ERA

Shields put forth his fifth consecutive quality start Friday against the Orioles. He has commanded his fastball and effectively thrown the ball on both sides of the plate, which has made his changeup even better.

  • Justin Masterson – 5-0,, 2.11 ERA

Masterson scattered nine hits in seven innings May 6 in Anaheim. He gave up just one earned run to lower his ERA to 2.11 of the season, and he didn’t walk a batter for the first time this year.

Projected Lineups

Tampa Bay

1. LF Sam Fuld

2. 2B Ben Zobrist

3.  3B Evan Longoria

4. RF Matt Joyce

5. CF B.J. Upton

6. 1B Casey Kotchman

7. SS Sean Rodriguez

8. DH Dan Johnson

9.    C Jon Jaso

Cleveland

1. CF Grady Sizemore

2. SS Asdrubal Cabrera

3. RF Shin-Soo Choo

4.    C Carlos Santana

5. DH Travis Hafner

6. 2B Orlando Cabrera

7. LF Michael Brantley

8. 1B Matt LaPorta

9. 3B Jack Hannahan

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