American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 23
(All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (51-49) at Minnesota Twins (45-54), 1:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Trevor Bauer (4-4, 3.89)
Minnesota - Anthony Swarzak (1-0, 4.34)
(SportsNetwork.com) - If Carlos Santana returns to 2013 form, the Cleveland
Indians become a significantly more dangerous participant in the American
League's Central Division.
He'll try to build on a breakout effort when the Indians return to Target
Field on Wednesday afternoon to close out a three-game series with the host
Santana hit 20 home runs, drove in 74 runs and established a career-best .268
batting average in 2013, but he's scuffled throughout 2014 and was stuck at
just .136 after the season's first month. He's been up and down since then,
hitting .301 in a 31-game stretch before tumbling back to .177 over the
Tuesday night was a sign of potentially good things, however, as he cracked
four hits -- including three for extra bases -- in the Indians' 8-2 win.
"When he's going good, it makes us a whole different lineup," manager Terry
The win continued a recently torrid stretch in which the Indians are 12-6 for
July and have won or tied five straight series since losing two of three games
at Seattle in late June.
In his last seven games in Minnesota, Santana is batting .355 with three home
He'll face Minnesota's Anthony Swarzak on Wednesday in the right-hander's
first start since October 2012.
Kyle Gibson had been scheduled for the turn, but he complained of tightness in
his back after a bullpen session and was scratched.
Swarzak has posted a 7.71 earned run average in his last four relief
appearances and he's just 1-5 with a 7.34 ERA in 16 meetings with the Indians
-- including five runs and nine hits allowed in 1 1/3 innings this season.
Cleveland sends out right-hander Trevor Bauer, who'll start for the first time
against the Twins while trying to extend a four-start unbeaten streak that's
seen him go 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA.
He's been uneven on the road, however, winning just once in six starts with a
5.29 ERA. He secured the win on Friday in Detroit after allowing three runs in
six innings of a 9-3 triumph.
The Twins have scored just 12 runs in their last five games.
"I don't think you can point to anything," second baseman Brian Dozier said.
"It's just basically not hitting."
On Tuesday, Santana's outburst paved the way as Cleveland topped Minnesota,
Chris Dickerson and David Murphy also added two RBI apiece for the Indians,
who had dropped two in a row including Monday's opener but have won five of
Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles also knocked in runs for Cleveland.
Recalled from Triple-A prior to the contest, Danny Salazar (2-4) scattered six
hits and one run while striking out six against three walks over five-plus
"That was more of the stuff that we had come to appreciate last year," Indians
manager Terry Francona said. "If he is going to pitch like that and move
forward with it, what a shot in the arm for us."
Yohan Pino (1-3) surrendered four runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 frames for the
Twins, who have dropped four of their last five.
Brian Dozier homered and Sam Fuld was responsible for Minnesota's other run.
"We're getting the guys on base we can't come through with a two-out hit,"
Dozier said. "Myself included. To be a good offensive team you have to have
the total package."
07/23 10:27:42 ET