The Cleveland Indians are quietly moving up the American League Central standings.
After moving into a second-place tie in the division, the Indians will continue their four-game series with the slumping Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland took the series opener 3-2 on Friday, joining the White Sox in a second-place tie, six games behind first-place Minnesota. The Indians have won three in a row and 10 of 15.
Cleveland acquired designated hitter Josh Phelps from Toronto on Friday to help stack its lineup against left-handers. The Indians were 18-24 against lefty starters before beating Chicago’s Mark Buehrle on Friday. In exchange, Cleveland gave up infielder Eric Crozier, who was batting .297 with 20 homers and 53 RBIs at Triple-A Buffalo.
Phelps will join the team Sunday.
“If you are going to get something that helps you be a better team, and helps us against left-handed pitching, you’re going to have to give up something,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said.
The White Sox, who lost for the 10th time in 12 games, re-acquired Roberto Alomar from Arizona on Friday. He went 0-for-3 with an error.
The second baseman, who was traded to the White Sox last July 1 from the Mets, batted .309 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 39 games for the Diamondbacks. The 36-year-old missed 56 games with a broken right hand after being hit by a pitch in Milwaukee on April 20.
“I think he can still play,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Alomar, a .301 career hitter. “A lot of people say he’s old, but I think he just started early. I’m looking for a lot of good things from him.”
The White Sox learned Friday that slugger Frank Thomas, who was on the disabled list since July 10, will miss the rest of the season because of a stress fracture in his left foot. Thomas was hitting .271 with 18 homers and 49 RBIs when he got hurt, and the two-time AL MVP was leading the league with 64 walks and a .434 on-base percentage.
“Frank’s foot is healing on schedule, but these things just take time,” White Sox podiatrist Dr. Lowell Weil said. “We will take another look at his foot in about six weeks, and then decide on the next steps of his rehabilitation.”