Some places are better to play than others for some teams and the new Target Field in Minneapolis is becoming a trouble spot for the Indians. The Indians were swept over the weekend as the Twins beat them on Saturday and Sunday and weather won out on Friday.
The Indians are now 3-8 at Target Field and have lost five straight games there. The losses are not the only concern as starter Carlos Carrasco left Sunday’s game after three innings with elbow tightness. Carrasco will be further evaluated on Monday.
The Indians still sit atop of the American League Central with a mark of 13-8 and still a 1.5 games ahead of the second place Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers. The Indians have an off day on Monday before the Royals come to Progressive Field.
- Orlando Cabrera appears to have completely broken out of his hitting slump. He went 3-for-8 in the two games versus the Twins and now has hit in four straight games. He also raised his season average to .269 and has 12 RBI on the year.
- Vinnie Pestano continues to be dominant out of the bullpen. He has 11 strikeouts and just three walks in his nine appearances this season. After another quality appearance in Sunday’s game, he lowered his ERA to 1.13 on the year and has allowed just one run in eight innings of work.
- Rafael Perez also has been masterful out of the bullpen and he still has not allowed an earned run all season. On Sunday, he pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed just one hit before working out of trouble. Opponents are hitting just .136 against the left-hander.
- Carrasco’s injury may be more bad news for the Tribe who are already without Mitch Talbot for at least five more weeks. Carrasco has so much pressure on him already as he was a huge piece of the Cliff Lee trade and his season already has been up and down. For now, the entire Indians organization is holding their breath.
- Fausto Carmona is supposed to be the Indians ace but he has not pitched like one and his outing on Saturday was one to forget. He gave up six earned runs and walked four in just five innings. His control was not there and just never seemed comfortable. He is now 1-3 this season with an ERA of 5.76 and this does not reflect well for the ace of the staff.
- Michael Brantley had a rough two games at the plate in Minnesota as he was just 1-for-8 in the series. In fact, he had a three-run home run taken away from him on Sunday and sometimes that is how it goes.
A Look Ahead:
The Indians (13-8) will start a six-game homestand on Tuesday at Progressive Field. Kansas City (12-10) comes to town first for a three-game series.
The Royals have been slumping as of late as they have lost three straight and six of their last 10. Pitching has been the concern for this team and it showed in their series versus the Texas Rangers.
Outfielder Alex Gordon is riding high as he has an 18-game hitting streak. Gordon is amongst the American League leaders in average (.356), RBI (14) and doubles (10).
The Royals have three other hitters batting over .300 in Wilson Betemit (.364), Jeff Francoeur (.325) and Billy Butler (.316).
The pitching matchup to start the series will be a repeat of last Wednesday’s game as Justin Masterson (4-0, 1.71) will face Luke Hochevar (2-2, 5.12). On Wednesday night it will be Josh Tomlin (3-0, 2.33) for the Indians against the Royals lefty Jeff Francis (0-2, 4.06). Then finally on Thursday it will be Carmona (1-3, 5.76) versus Kyle Davies (1-2, 6.23). All games will be at 7:05 p.m.