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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 22nd (All times eastern)
Cleveland Indians (7-10) at Chicago White Sox (7-11), 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Justin Masterson (3-1, 1.67) Chicago - Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.70)
(Sports Network) - Cleveland's offense came to life over the weekend, and the Indians will try to keep it going on Monday when they head to U.S. Cellular Field to open a three-game set with the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland rebounded from a five-game slide by winning two straight at Houston on Saturday and Sunday. The Indians, who are in the midst of a 10-game road trip, followed up Saturday's 19-6 onslaught by taking Sunday's series finale, 5-4.
Mark Reynolds, who went 5-for-10 in the series, homered in both games to give him seven on the season. Reynolds leads the Tribe with seven homers and 18 RBI.
"I didn't really know him coming in," new manager Terry Francona said. "He's versatile. He's been a pleasure. Whatever you ask him to do, he does it with a smile."
Meanwhile, the White Sox have lost three in a row and nine of 12 to find themselves at the bottom of the AL Central standings, a half-game back of Cleveland. They totaled just five runs in those three losses.
The bullpen unraveled in Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Twins, as three relievers combined to give up four runs in the seventh inning. Entering the contest, Minnesota's relievers had a 1.63 ERA and were holding opponents to a .177 batting average.
Dylan Axelrod gets the start for Chicago, and the right-hander is still aiming for his first win of 2013. Axelrod was solid in his last outing, as he limited Toronto to two runs in six innings on Tuesday. Since that outing, White Sox starters have combined to post a 1.65 ERA over the last five games.
Justin Masterson quieted the White Sox bats less than two weeks ago when he tossed a five-hit shutout. Cleveland's starting rotation has had its struggles in the early going, but Masterson was 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA through his first three starts, and that included a 19-inning scoreless streak. However, he gave up four runs on 11 hits in five innings of work against Boston on Wednesday.
"They made him work really hard," Francona said. "Their approach to him was very good. They all stayed in the middle of the field or went the opposite way. ... There's a lot of trust in him. That's what I told him when I took him out. He didn't give in and it was a hard five innings but when he left, we had a chance to win the game."
The Indians won two of three at home versus Chicago April 12-14.
04/22 10:36:24 ET