Two of three, not too shabby. The Indians endured a painful contest Tuesday night, quite literally in the case of Kosuke Fukudome, and came out with a walk-off win. The bats caught fire Wednesday night, in particular Jason Kipnis, and they easily took game two. Then in the finale the Tribe stumbled against Justin Verlander. The Indians showed they still have some gas in the tank, and certainly aren’t out of the race. They are about to get some reinforcements too, as the Tribe activated Shin-Soo Choo from the 15-day disabled list. Just in time as the division race heats up.
August 12-14, 2011
- Minnesota - As bad as the beginning of the season was for the Twins, they were on a tear after the first month and began to ascend in the standings. Unfortunately, for Minnesota, that magic has seemingly run out as they currently sit ten games out in the division. Prior to Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Boston, the Twins had lost six straight and eight of their last ten. Cleveland will get to see a familiar face, as Jim Thome returns to “The Jake” in search of his 600th career home run. It would be fitting should he achieve the milestone in Cleveland, where he spent the first 12 years of his career and is the franchises leader in home runs, with 334.
- Cleveland – The Indians are fresh off taking two of three from division leading Detroit. In doing so, they cut their deficit in the American League Central to three games. Jason Kipnis continued his tear in August by going 6-for-14 in the series, including a 5-for-5 performance on Wednesday night that raised his batting average from .232 to .295. The bullpen turned the page on a forgettable road trip and was stellar, especially in Tuesday night’s 14-inning debacle. Ubaldo Jimenez was also spectacular in his home debut for th Indians, going eight strong while allowing three runs, none of them earned, and striking out six. Cleveland will also be getting some help in the hitting department as Shin-Soo Choo has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and will be in the lineup for the series opener. After acquiring Kosuke Fukudome and Ubaldo Jimenez at the trade deadline, the return of Choo to the lineup will be even more of a boost.
Game 1- Carl Pavano vs. Justin Masterson
- Carl Pavano 6-9, 4.71 ERA
After three straight subpar outings, Pavano turned it around against the White Sox on Saturday. The veteran right-hander allowed just two runs (one earned) on nine hits and one walk over eight innings, but was stuck with a hard-luck loss.
- Justin Masterson 9-7, 2.71 ERA
A two-hour rain delay cut Masterson’s last outing short, as the right-hander didn’t return to Tuesday’s win against the Tigers after tossing two innings. Because of his abbreviated outing, he was moved up a day in the rotation.
Game 2- Brian Duensing vs. Josh Tomlin
- Brian Duensing 8-10, 4.56 ERA
Duensing has had problems with the long ball in recent starts, and it plagued him again on Sunday against the White Sox. The lefty allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits, including two homers.
- Josh Tomlin 11-5, 4.08 ERA
Tomlin was throwing a gem at Texas on Sunday before the wheels fell off for the Indians in a five-run eighth inning. Tomlin took the no-decision, allowing two runs and four hits in seven frames.
Game 3 – Kevin Slowey vs. David Huff
- Kevin Slowey 0-0, 4.91 ERA
With Scott Baker going on the disabled list, Slowey will face the Indians in his first start of the season. Slowey, who started the year in the bullpen, has a career 4.42 ERA in 82 starts with the Twins.
- David Huff 1-1, 0.51 ERA
Huff is the likely candidate to fill the spot of Carlos Carrasco as the Indians fifth starter, as he was sent to the 15-day disabled list with elbow inflamation. In his last start for the Indians on August 2, he didn’t factor into the decision after going five innings and giving up one unearned run in a 3-2 loss to the Red Sox.
- CF Denard Span
- 2B Alexi Casilla
- C Joe Mauer
- 1B Justin Morneau
- RF Jason Kubel
- DH Jim Thome
- 3B Danny Valencia
- LF Ben Revere
- SS Tsuyoshi Nishioka
- RF Shin-Soo Choo
- 2B Jason Kipnis
- SS Asdrubal Cabrera
- DH Travis Hafner
- C Carlos Santana
- CF Kosuke Fukudome
- 1B Matt LaPorta
- 3B Lonnie Chisenhall
- LF Ezequiel Carrera