American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, August 6th
(All times eastern)
Minnesota Twins (47-61) at Cleveland Indians (50-58), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Scott Diamond (9-5, 2.93)
Cleveland - Zach McAllister (4-3, 3.42)
(Sports Network) - After experiencing the worst road trip in their 112-year
history as a franchise, the Cleveland Indians are desperately hoping a return
home can reverse their recent run of futility.
The spiraling Tribe take a nine-game losing streak into tonight's clash with
the Minnesota Twins from Progressive Field, with the club's latest setback
likely ranking as the most deflating of the bunch.
Cleveland appeared poised to end its skid after putting up three runs in the
top of the 10th inning of Sunday's matchup at Detroit, but the Tigers scored
five times -- all with two out -- off All-Star closer Chris Perez to come away
with an improbable 10-8 victory that left the Indians with an 0-9 record on
The Indians had never previously gone winless on a road swing of nine games or
more. They've also allowed at least five runs in each of the defeats, marking
only the second time in team annals that has happened. It also occurred during
a nine-game slide in 1973.
Travis Hafner belted his 200th career home run and Ezequiel Cabrera followed
with his first in the majors to give Cleveland a 7-5 lead in the 10th, and Lou
Marson added an RBI double later in the inning to extend the margin.
Perez then retired the first two batters in the bottom of the frame, but
unraveled from there.
Back-to-back walks and an RBI double from Austin Jackson brought the Tigers to
within 8-6, and Omar Infante delivered a single to plate two more runs and tie
the score. Miguel Cabrera then launched Perez's pitch over the wall in left-
center field to cap Detroit's comeback.
The Indians are now mired in their longest losing streak since dropping 11 in
a row from Sept. 13-24, 2009.
"Obviously every body knows we're playing bad ball and this has been a
terrible road trip," said Perez. "You keep coming back adding one on, keep
coming back adding one on, put three up in extra innings, and then watch me
kiss it away just sucks."
Cleveland's present drought began with three consecutive losses to the Twins
at Target Field from July 27-29. Minnesota's Scott Diamond spun a three-hitter
for his first career shutout to open that series, and the impressive rookie
will take the ball again for his team to start this three-game set.
Diamond struck out six without a walk that night, and the lefty also held the
Tribe to three unearned runs over seven innings to notch the win in
Minnesota's 6-3 decision at Progressive Field on June 3. In four lifetime
outings against Cleveland, he's 2-1 with a 2.28 earned run average.
The native Canadian is coming off a losing effort his last time out, though,
after being touched for three runs in 7 1/3 innings versus American League
Central leader Chicago last Wednesday.
Minnesota enters tonight's tilt having won seven of its last 10 contests and
got its current seven-game trip off to an excellent start by posting three
straight triumphs in Boston. The Twins couldn't complete the sweep, however,
dropping a 6-4 verdict to the Red Sox in Sunday's finale.
The Twins couldn't get the bats going against Boston starter Franklin Morales,
with the left-hander yielding just one run and three hits over his six innings
of work. Minnesota did make a strong rally in the ninth, scoring three times
on homers by Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit to pull within 6-4, but Red Sox
closer Alfredo Aceves came on to set down the next three hitters and end the
belated comeback bid.
"Tough one today," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said afterward. "We didn't do
much hitting. Their guy (Morales) shut us down pretty good. He was tough."
Minnesota's Ben Revere did single in his first at-bat off Morales to extend
his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest by a Twins player since Torii
Hunter had a 23-game run during the 2007 season. The speedy outfielder is
batting .363 (29-for-80) over his tear.
The Twins will try to obtain a little more success tonight in their first-ever
meeting with Cleveland rookie Zach McAllister, who's fighting through a losing
spell of his own right now.
McAllister is 0-2 over his last three starts, though he's lasted at least six
innings in each of those assignments. The young righty wasn't real sharp in
Wednesday's encounter with Kansas City, permitting five runs (4 earned) in six
frames to fall to 4-3 on the season.
The 24-year-old, who last won on July 16 after tossing six innings of one-run
ball at Tampa Bay, does own a solid 2-1 record and a 3.09 ERA in seven home
starts this year.
The Twins have prevailed in five of eight previous bouts with the Indians this
season and took two of three from Cleveland at Progressive Field back in early
08/06 10:30:12 ET