The Cleveland Indians are playing themselves right out of postseason contention.
Just last weekend, the Indians trailed the Twins by one game for the division lead, but have dropped six games back, and just a game ahead of the third-place Chicago White Sox with their recent slump.
The Indians, who will match their longest slide of the season with another defeat Sunday, have been outscored 42-12 during the skid.
Radke is 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA in his last six starts, but the Indians may have good reason to feel confident against the 31-year-old right-hander.
In 28 career starts against the Indians, Radke is 7-15 with a 5.52 ERA.
On Saturday, 41-year-old left-hander Terry Mulholland shut down the Indians for the second time in a week, leading the Twins to an 8-1 victory.
“He’s amazing,” teammate Justin Morneau said of Mulholland. “It just shows his experience and how he can pick up hitters’ tendencies and use it against them.”
Morneau and Torii Hunter hit consecutive homers for the Twins, who have won five of six.
Chad Durbin, who had not allowed a run in 14 innings coming into Saturday’s start, gave up six runs in 4 1-3 innings. He lost for the first time since returning from the minors on July 24.
“Maybe we are pressing a little bit, but if we continue to press, the losses are going to continue to pile up,” Cleveland’s Matt Lawton said. “We’ve got to figure out a way to try to relax ourselves and try not to let this thing snowball.”
The Indians won’t be getting much help from their schedule. Over the next 14 games, the Indians will play two AL division leaders (New York Yankees and Twins), plus the playoff-contending Anaheim Angels.
Cleveland last lost seven straight games from May 18-26.