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Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians, July 5, 2012: Fan Preview

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For fans of the Cleveland Indians there is nothing better than a series win, that win is much sweeter when it comes against a quality team such as the Los Angeles Angels. On Wednesday, July 4 the Tribe flexed their offensive muscle dominating the Halos 12-3. Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman both smashed three-run home runs while Johnny Damon racked up a season-high three hits on the day.

Starting Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays come to town for a four-game series just before the All-Star game. Josh Tomlin gets the nod against Tampa's Jeremy Hellickson as both teams look to finish the first half of the season on a high note.

In addition to an exciting ball game, high school and college students have the opportunity to purchase half-price tickets in the lower-reserved or mezzanine seating locations simply by showing a valid student identification card. More importantly, hot dogs at the ballpark will be available for just $1 for the ever-popular Dollar Dog Night promotion.

The matchup:

The Cleveland Indians will take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Progressive Field located in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 4:05 p.m. EDT.

Josh Tomlin (4-5, 5.85 ERA) will take the mound for the Indians facing off against the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson (4-4, 3.44 ERA).

The standings:

Cleveland enters the game with a 42-39 record and in second place in the American League Central. They are 22-19 when playing at home and have won five of their last 10 games.

Tampa Bay comes into the matchup with a 43-39 record and in third place in the American League East. They are 19-20 when playing on the road and have won three of their last 10 games.

The series:

The season series is currently stands at 0-0.

Where to watch or listen:

In Cleveland: Television- STO, Radio- WTAM, Indians Radio Network.

Nationwide: Television and Radio via MLB.TV (Television blackouts apply in Cleveland market).

The batting statistic leaders:

Cleveland: Asdrubal Cabrera- .293 batting average, Jason Kipnis/Asdrubal Cabrera- 11 home runs, Jason Kipnis- 49 runs batted in.

Tampa Bay: Ben Zobrist- .251 batting average, Carlos Pena- 13 home runs, Carlos Pena- 36 runs batted in.

More Cleveland Indians Commentary from Paul Rados:

Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians, July 4, 2012: Fan Preview

Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians, July 3, 2012: Fan Preview

Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians, July 2, 2012: Fan Preview

Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles, July 1, 2012: Fan Preview

Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles, June 30, 2012: Fan Preview

Sources:

All statistics provided by MLB.com

Paul Rados is an avid Cleveland Indians fan and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @PSRados or leave him a message on Facebook.

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