In a span of five days, the Cleveland Indians have matched their victory total from the previous three-plus weeks combined.
Cleveland seeks its fourth victory in five tries as its series continues with the host Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
The Indians went 3-17 from Aug. 12-Sept. 2, but they’ve won three of the first four on their 11-day, 10-game road trip after beating Minnesota 7-6 in the series opener Friday.
Shin-Soo Choo, hitting .360 in 12 games versus the Twins this season, added three hits for Cleveland (59-79), which took two of three from Detroit in the previous series and heads to AL West-leading Texas for three following this set.
Manager Manny Acta, whose team lost 21 of 24 on the road prior to this trip, hopes his team can sustain the recent success.
“I think it takes a bit of a toll, so many days on the road,” Acta told the team’s official website. “If you’re going to be on the road for that long, it’s not as beneficial at times. But we can’t control that. I think everybody’s doing it so you have to deal with it. I think everybody has kind of the same schedule. So just deal with it.”
AL-worst Minnesota (56-82) blew a 4-0 lead Friday and has dropped four of five. Josh Willingham, who didn’t start the previous contest due to a sore hamstring, had two doubles and three RBIs, giving him a career-high 101.
The Twins have dropped 11 of 13 at home, and they’ll look to bounce back behind Cole De Vries, who has been pitching well of late but hasn’t been very good at Target Field.
De Vries (4-5, 4.41) has won his last two starts - both on the road - with a 1.54 ERA after giving up one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-1 win over Kansas City last Saturday. He had a 10.64 ERA while losing his previous three outings.
“My two-seamer for whatever reason it just had a lot of movement, had pretty good control with it and I was getting a lot of awkward swings,” De Vries said.
The rookie right-hander has yet to face the Indians, though he’s 1-3 with a 6.68 ERA in seven home starts.
He’ll be opposed by Zach McAllister, who has pitched six full innings in each of his last four road starts.
McAllister (5-6, 4.26 ERA) gave up seven runs and 11 hits - including a career-worst four homers - in five innings of Sunday’s 8-3 loss to Texas. It marked his second straight rough outing after yielding five runs in 4 1-3 innings of a loss to Oakland on Aug. 28.
“Overall, I just didn’t have my best stuff,” McAllister said.
The right-hander is 1-4 with a 6.08 ERA in his last seven starts. That included a brutal outing at home versus the Twins on Aug. 6 when he allowed nine runs, though only two earned, in a 14-3 home loss.
McAllister is 2-1 with a 3.64 ERA in his last five outings on the road.
Cleveland has won the last two meetings with Minnesota after losing the previous seven.
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