The Cleveland Indians have lost five of their last six, including a three-game sweep at Chicago last weekend that enabled the streaking White Sox to supplant them atop the American League Central. Cleveland will look to right the ship against last-place Minnesota, which comes in having won three in a row. The Indians have taken 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Minnesota Twins, including both games this season.
Pitching has been the biggest problem during the Indians’ recent slide — Cleveland starters have an ERA of 11.89 over the last six games. Friday’s starter, Derek Lowe, gave up eight runs — one shy of his career worst — in his last trip to the mound. Minnesota’s staff has had similar struggles all year, ranking last in the majors in ERA (5.25) even after shutting out Oakland on Wednesday.
Twins Indians Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, June 1, 2012
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports North (Minnesota), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Carl Pavano (2-4, 5.46 ERA) vs. Indians RH Derek Lowe (6-3, 3.25 ERA)
Pavano has been a fairly representative sample of the Twins’ substandard pitching staff, allowing opponents to hit .302 against him and giving up four runs or more in six of his 10 starts. He was tagged for six runs in just 4 1/3 innings in his last start, a Saturday loss against Detroit. Pavano, who is 3-3 with a 3.08 ERA against the Indians, settled for a no-decision in his lone outing versus the club this season.
Lowe has enjoyed a resurgent campaign thus far in 2012, but he had one of the worst outings of his career in Saturday’s loss at Chicago. He gave up eight runs on 10 hits in just 2 1/3 innings. Prior to that, Lowe had yielded just seven runs in his last 40 1/3 innings. Lowe, who pitched a six-hit shutout at Minnesota on May 15, is 2-4 with five saves and a 5.23 ERA in 22 career games (eight starts) against the Twins.
1. Minnesota’s three straight wins over Oakland marked the team’s first series sweep since last June.
2. Cleveland SS Asdrubal Cabrera has struggled mightily against Pavano, going 2-for-29 (.069). OF Johnny Damon is 9-for-26 (.346) with two doubles.
3. The Twins are a combined 29-for-103 (.282) against Lowe – with C Joe Mauer (6-for-13, two RBIs) and 1B Justin Morneau (4-for-11, HR, 4 RBIs) leading the way.