Oakland (60-75) at Cleveland (67-65)

Fair Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Aug 31, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) hasn’t consistently displayed the dominant form the Cleveland Indians hoped they’d get when they acquired him from Colorado at the trade deadline.

He’s seemed dialed in at home, though.

Jimenez goes for his third straight win at Progressive Field when Cleveland continues its four-game set against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

Jimenez (2-1, 5.79 ERA) has been up and down in his five starts for the Indians, allowing 22 runs in 28 innings. Cleveland (67-65) had hoped acquiring the right-hander from Colorado would bolster its rotation and its quest to reclaim the AL Central lead, though the deficit has increased from 2 1/2 games July 31 to 5 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit.

Though his overall statistics leave much to be desired, Jimenez has been dominant at home. He is coming off possibly his best performance since the trade, allowing one run and striking out a season-high 10 in seven innings of a 2-1 victory over Kansas City on Friday. He improved to 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA and 16 strikeouts over 15 innings in his two outings at Progressive Field.

The Indians opened their 11-game homestand by losing three of four to Seattle, but have since won four of five including a 2-1 victory in Monday’s series opener and a 6-2 victory over Oakland on Tuesday.

Carlos Santana(notes) and Jack Hannahan(notes) each hit two-run homers Tuesday, and Kosuke Fukudome(notes) - hitting .379 over his last eight games - added a two-run double.

Santana homered for the second straight night, has driven in a run in three straight games and is 6 for 17 over his last five.

“I feel like we’ve got a couple of streaks (left) in us,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “There’s a month to go. The pitching is there. You get good pitching, you’re in every game.”

Hannahan is hitting .432 with 10 RBIs over his last 12 games.

“It’s someone different every day, getting big hits, pitching well,” he said. “The young guys are coming up and getting it done.”

The Indians have won five of the last six meetings against the A’s (60-75), who will turn to Rich Harden(notes) (4-2, 4.55) in an attempt to snap their four-game losing streak.

Harden is coming off his worst start of 2011, allowing season highs of six runs and 10 hits through 4 1-3 innings Thursday against the New York Yankees, though he didn’t get a decision in the 22-9 defeat. He had gone 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his three previous outings.

The right-hander hasn’t earned a decision in any of his last five starts against Cleveland since beating the Indians on July 31, 2003, the first time he ever faced them. He has a 4.36 lifetime ERA in seven career appearances - six starts - versus Cleveland.

Harden will look for offensive support from a lineup which has scored only 10 runs in five meetings against the Indians this season. Coco Crisp(notes) and Kurt Suzuki(notes) each drove in a run Tuesday, but first baseman Brandon Allen(notes) extended his drought to 0 for 11 over his last three games.

Oakland has totaled six runs during its losing streak after scoring 36 in its previous four games.

Prior to dropping two in Boston and the first two games of this series, the A’s had won seven of nine on the road.

“We’ve basically done nothing,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ll search for those answers, but I don’t have one right now.”

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Starting Pitchers

R. Harden Min vs. U. Jiménez Bal
4-4 Record 10-13
5.12 ERA 4.68
91 K 180
31 BB 78
1.43 WHIP 1.40


Wednesday, Aug 31