Indians-Twins Preview

The Associated Press

After snapping one of their longest losing streaks of the season, the Cleveland Indians will next try to end their recent woes in Minnesota.

The Indians have lost eight of their last 10 road games against the Twins, who will seek to match their longest home win streak of the season Monday night.

Cleveland (63-55) had dropped six in a row - its worst slide of the year besides an eight-game skid June 2-10 - before rallying for a 6-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. Nick Swisher, Mike Aviles and Carlos Santana homered to erase a five-run deficit, and Michael Bourn singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh.

The Indians avoided an 0-7 homestand and remained within four games of the AL's last wild-card berth, a spot they owned before the losing streak.

"It didn't matter how we got it," Swisher said. "That's a much-needed win, not only for us but for our fans. It's crazy how this game works."

Cleveland now face a Twins team that has won seven of 10 overall and three straight at home, one shy of a season high. Minnesota (52-63) completed a winning seven-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier homered and combined to drive in all five runs in the fifth inning. Minnesota got 23 of its 28 runs on the trip off home runs and went 7 for 62 (.113) with runners in scoring position.

"We'll take the home runs if that's the way we have to score runs right now, as long as we're winning ballgames," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Twins won two of three over Cleveland from July 19-21 in the teams' most recent series and their only one this season at Target Field. The Indians have lost three straight series there, batting .181 in those 10 games as Asdrubal Cabrera has gone 2 for 29.

Andrew Albers (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will try to lead Minnesota to another victory over the Indians following a sterling major league debut. The left-hander came within two outs of recording a shutout and gave up four hits in a 7-0 victory in Kansas City on Tuesday.

"It's hard to put into words, but it was special to go out and have that kind of performance in your debut," he said. "Unfortunately, it's probably not going to get much better from there."

Cleveland's Danny Salazar (1-0, 3.29) will also seek his second career win Monday. The rookie right-hander recorded that victory in his big-league debut July 11 against Toronto before being sent back down to the minors.

He was recalled before Wednesday's home game against Detroit and did not get a decision in a 6-5 loss, allowing four runs over 7 2-3 innings. Salazar struck out 10, giving him 17 in his first two starts.

"Besides a couple mistakes, I thought he was tremendous," manager Terry Francona said. "He had poise, competitiveness. I wish I could sit here on a win, but it doesn't change the fact of how he pitched or how we feel about him. That was pretty awesome."

Cleveland has lost 16 of 24 to Minnesota but leads this season's series 5-4.

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