American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, May 4th (All times Eastern)
Chicago White Sox (14-17) at Cleveland Indians (13-17), 1:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Andre Rienzo (2-0, 4.05) Cleveland - Corey Kluber (2-3, 4.14)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Indians will try to get the brooms out for the first time this season, as they conclude a three-game set against the injury plagued Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field on Sunday.
The Indians coasted to a 12-5 win to end a six-game losing streak in the series opener on Friday. Cleveland's offense was not as potent in the middle part of the series against Chicago's rookie Scott Carroll, but Justin Masterson managed to pick up his first win of the season with 7 1/3 scoreless innings as the Tribe notched a 2-0 decision.
The Indians have won eight in a row versus Chicago at home, outscoring the White Sox, 48-23, over that span. Cleveland will need to find a way to generate more runs to keep its streak alive. Prior to Friday's outburst, the Indians were limited to just 13 runs during a winless six-game road trip and were forced to place star second baseman Jason Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list just hours prior to the opening pitch of their homestand.
The Tribe will also be missing Michael Bourn and Yan Gomes on Sunday.
Cleveland, which is ranked just 26th among MLB clubs with a .235 batting average, will send Corey Kluber to the mound for the series finale. Kluber showed a flash of potential on April 24 versus Kansas City, limiting the Royals to just four hits and one unearned run in a complete game. However, the 28-year-old right-hander digressed on Tuesday, surrendering four runs on eight hits and four walks in just 4 2/3 innings of work.
"I don't think there's really that big a difference between the last two starts other than the ground balls last time just found holes," Kluber said. "Broken-bat bloopers were hit just soft enough where they fell in front of guys. You look at that last start, they weren't barreling the ball. They had eight singles."
Kluber will face a White Sox club that entered the series with six players on the disabled list, including right fielder Avisail Garcia and ace Chris Sale. Starting outfielder Adam Eaton joined his teammates on the DL on Saturday after straining his right hamstring. Jordan Danks, who is 3-for-35 on the season, will replace Eaton in the starting lineup.
"You just figure it out. That's part of the game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's never easy to have guys that are hurt, but you also don't want them running out there playing at 70 percent and just trying to make it through.
Chicago will try to rally behind Andre Rienzo, who won for a second time in two starts on Monday. Rienzo allowed only two earned runs over six innings of work against Tampa Bay, with both runs coming in the first inning.
"I don't know how long I'll be here," said Rienzo, who entered the rotation after injuries to Sale and Felipe Paulino. "But every day I live the dream."
Chicago's bullpen has been sensational as of late, allowing only two earned runs over the last 21 2/3 innings. The White Sox were shut out for the third time this season on Saturday. Rookie slugger Jose Abreu, Dayan Viciedo and Alexei Ramirez all finished 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts on Saturday.
The poor performance ended Viciedo's 20-game streak of reaching base safely. Ramirez is batting a team-best .344, while Abreu is pacing Chicago with 11 homers and 33 RBI.
The Indians are 20-5 against the White Sox since the start of 2013.
05/04 10:42:57 ET