Cleveland won its sixth straight and completed a three-game sweep with a 2-1 win over Colorado on Thursday. The Indians improved to an AL-best 10-2 in interleague play.
Cleveland’s bullpen, which entered with the AL’s second-lowest ERA (3.56), combined to hold the Rockies to one run and three hits over the final four innings. On Wednesday, Indians relievers combined for 7 2-3 scoreless innings and 13 strikeouts as Cleveland won 7-6 in 11 innings.
The overworked pen could use an another solid effort from emerging staff ace Cliff Lee.
The left-hander has developed into the team’s top starter, allowing three runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. He’s surrendered one earned run and 10 hits in his last 14 innings, walking three and striking out 13.
In Sunday’s 5-3 win over San Francisco, Lee allowed five hits over seven innings to win for the third time in four decisions as the Indians completed their second series sweep of the season—their first on the road.
“I was locating my fastball pretty good,” Lee said. “My curve wasn’t there for me so Victor (Martinez) decided to use my other pitches. That worked well enough.”
Arizona will counter with Brad Halsey, who hopes to rebound from consecutive poor outings.
Halsey, one of the team’s most reliable starters this year, has allowed six runs over six innings in each of his last two starts.
In an 8-5 loss to Kansas City on Saturday, he gave up a season-high 14 hits.
“He’s just got some balls up and he wasn’t getting over his front side,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “Just kind of staying back and throwing uphill as opposed to getting over his front side and throwing downhill.”
Halsey has issued just three walks in his last 32 innings.
The Diamondbacks come in after taking two of three from the major league-leading Chicago White Sox, giving them their first series win in June.