Cleveland (39-54) at Minnesota (49-44)

Fair Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Tue Jul 20, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Cleveland is in last place in the AL Central, but the Indians have managed to hold their own against those near the top of the division standings of late.

The Indians try for a season-high sixth straight victory Tuesday night against the second-place Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Coming off a four-game weekend sweep of Detroit, Cleveland (39-54) beat Minnesota 10-4 on Monday. The Indians have recorded a pair of five-game winning streaks in less than a month.

Minnesota (49-44) is tied with Detroit at 2 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago. The Twins won three of four from the White Sox over the weekend.

“You do the right thing, and you’re going to end up winning ballgames,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “What’s impressive is the two teams that we’re playing.”

With injured players Shin-Soo Choo(notes) (thumb) and Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) (forearm) set to return to the team later this week, Cleveland’s makeshift lineup showed life by pounding out a season-high 20 hits in the opener. The Indians have hit .311 and averaged 6.2 runs during their winning streak.

“It feels good to win five in a row, especially against two teams in the division,” said outfielder Trevor Crowe(notes), who went 4 for 5 with two RBIs.

Jayson Nix(notes) added three hits for the second consecutive game and drove in two runs as Cleveland won for the fourth time in 16 road games.

After roughing up Minnesota’s Scott Baker(notes) for six runs in 4 2-3 innings, the Indians hope for some rare success against scheduled starter Kevin Slowey(notes) (8-5, 4.95 ERA) on Tuesday.

Slowey has won four in a row against Cleveland, and he’s 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA versus the Indians this season. However, he is 1-2 with a 9.11 ERA in his last six starts.

The right-hander allowed five runs and nine hits in three innings but didn’t get the decision in an 8-7 loss to the White Sox on Thursday.

“I’ve been struggling and searching for it a lot more than I’ve been comfortable out there lately,” Slowey said.

Minnesota announced Monday that All-Star Justin Morneau(notes) will miss at least another week’s worth of games as he recovers from a concussion. The Twins could have used him in the opener after going 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

Delmon Young(notes), whose two-run single in the ninth inning Sunday gave Minnesota a 7-6 win over Chicago, had three hits. He is 11 for 25 with six RBIs in his last six games, and 7 for 10 in his last two versus Cleveland.

“(The Twins) are a good team,” Crowe said. “They’re going to come back ready to play.”

Minnesota hopes to bounce back against Justin Masterson(notes) (3-8, 5.31), who tries to avoid a third straight rough outing when he takes the mound for the Indians.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 9.58 ERA in his last two starts after giving up five runs in five innings of a 6-5, 10-inning loss at Tampa Bay on July 11.

He is 0-3 with a 5.57 ERA in four starts against the Twins, including 0-1 with a 4.63 ERA in two this season.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Masterson Bos vs. K. Slowey Phi
6-13 Record 13-6
4.70 ERA 4.45
140 K 116
73 BB 29
1.50 WHIP 1.29


Tuesday, Jul 20