The Indians arrive in Minnesota after splitting a four-game set in Baltimore. The next four games for the Tribe are important ones as they are against AL Central foe Minnesota and a series victory or sweep could give the Tribe a little more of a cushion than they have had in recent weeks. Kicking off the series is a day-night double header on Monday that could set the tone for the rest of the set.
July 18-20, 2011
- Cleveland – The Indians took two of four from the Orioles over the weekend and got significant contributions from their key cogs in the lineup. Michael Brantley went 7-for-19 over the weekend scoring three runs and knocking in two more. Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana were also very productive at the plate going 4-for-18 and 4-for-16, respectively. The pair also each went deep twice. However, with that being said, the Tribe also lost Grady Sizemore yet again to the DL. Sizemore was injured on Sunday while running to first base. Grady had looked strong at the plate after the break, going 4-for-11 with a solo shot over the weekend before he got hurt. The Indians will once again be forced to show their depth in the organization in filling Sizemore’s roster spot. The rotation did get a boost though as Fausto Carmona was activated from the DL and is expected to start the second game of the double-header.
- Minnesota – The Twins have owned the Indians thus far this season. In five games thus far, the Twins have taken four from the Tribe while averaging 5.8 runs per game in those four wins. The Indians only win against the Twins this season came courtesy of Carlos Carrasco tossing a shutout in a 1-0 victory on June 7. That lone run that crossed the plate was Carlos Santana scoring on a groundout by Shelly Duncan. The Twins come into this series winning seven out of their last ten and scoring 4.8 runs per game in that span. In games since June 2, Minnesota has a record of 26-12, which is one-half game better than the Red Sox for tops in the Majors.
Game 1 – David Huff vs. Anthony Swarzak
- David Huff 0-0, -.– ERA
The Indians are expected to promote Huff from Triple-A Columbus to start the first game of a twin bill in Minnesota. With the Clippers, the lefty has gone 8-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 17 games. Over 100 1/3 innings, he has 63 strikeouts and 28 walks.
- Anthony Swarzak 2-2, 3.38 ERA
With Scott Baker sidelined by an elbow issue, Swarzak made his fourth start of the season on the Sunday before the All-Star break. Swarzak is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four spot starts this season, including a July 10 win over the White Sox.
Game 2 – Fausto Carmona vs. Scott Diamond
- Fausto Carmona 4-10, 5.78 ERA
Carmona is expected to be activated from the disabled list to start the second game of a doubleheader in Minnesota. The righty injured his right quadriceps during a fall while running to first base in Cincinnati on July 2, but only missed one start.
- Scott Diamond 0-0, -.– ERA
The lefty will make his Major League debut after the Twins selected his contract to replace right-hander Scott Baker, who went on the 15-day DL with a strained elbow. Diamond is 4-8 with a 4.70 ERA in 17 starts for Triple-A Rochester this season.
Game 3 – Justin Masterson vs. Francisco Liriano
- Justin Masterson 8-6, 2.80 ERA
Masterson picked up a win on the road against the Orioles on Thursday after allowing four runs on eight hits over six innings. He struck out eight and walked one. The righty is 3-2 with a 2.02 ERA in his past eight appearances (seven starts).
- Francisco Liriano 6-7, 4.76 ERA
Despite struggling early, Liriano came away with a victory in his last start thanks to some help from the Twins’ offense. Liriano gave up just one earned run, but played a major role in the Royals’ two unearned runs in the first inning.
Game 4 – Josh Tomlin vs. Nick Blackburn
- Josh Tomlin 11-4, 4.03 ERA
Tomlin earned his team-leading 11th victory despite a shaky start on Friday in Baltimore. The right-hander gave up five runs on six hits, including a season-high three home runs. Tomlin is 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA in nine road starts this year.
- Nick Blackburn 7-6, 3.99 ERA
In his best outing since mid-June, Blackburn tossed seven scoreless innings Friday, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out three. It was the first time since June 22 that Blackburn allowed three or fewer runs.
- LF Michael Brantley
- SS Asdrubal Cabrera
- DH Travis Hafner
- 1B Carlos Santana
- 2B Orlando Cabrera
- RF Austin Kearns
- 3B Jack Hannahan
- C Lou Marson
- CF Ezequiel Carrera
- CF Ben Revere
- 2B Alexi Casilla
- 1B Joe Maur
- RF Michael Cuddyer
- DH Jim Thome
- LF Delmon Young
- 3B Danny Valencia
- C Drew Butera
- SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka