American League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 11 (All times eastern)
Chicago White Sox (44-49) at Cleveland Indians (45-46), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Hector Noesi (3-6, 4.90) Cleveland - Corey Kluber (8-6, 2.86)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Despite coming up short in the American League Final Vote, Corey Kluber looks to stay in a groove when the Cleveland Indians welcome the Chicago White Sox to Progressive Field for the opener of a three- game set.
Kluber has enjoyed a breakout campaign with a team-best eight wins, 137 strikeouts and a 2.86 ERA. And he has gotten even better of late, posting a 1.24 ERA over his last four starts. Still, it was not enough to earn the right-hander his first All-Star nod as White Sox southpaw Chris Sale won the AL Final Vote on Thursday.
"The tone of the game, the atmosphere of the game when he's on the mound, we never really have a question that we're going to win that game," observed teammate Trevor Bauer. "He's going to go out there and shut the other guys down. That's what you look at out of an All-Star, someone who can take over a game."
This past Sunday, Kluber held the Kansas City Royals to one run in 8 1/3 innings while yielding just four hits and striking out 10.
For Chicago, Hector Noesi looks to build on Sunday's start against Seattle when he pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings. The right-hander gave up five hits in that start, striking out five and walking two batters.
"He's a tough kid. He's confident and he knows what he can do," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Sometimes you get an opportunity and you run with it, and I think that's what he's done. Any time you go through the route that he's been out on and you get a chance to show what you've got, he's going to do it."
Chicago settled for a four-game split at Fenway Park this week after beating the Boston Red Sox in the first two games.
On Thursday, the Red Sox won in walk-off fashion for the second time in as many games. After pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie tied the game for Chicago with a two-run homer off All-Star closer Koji Uehara in the ninth, Boston's Mike Carp returned the favor with a game-winning single off Ronald Belisario in the bottom of the 10th.
White Sox starter Jose Quintana carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before eventually ending his day with seven strikeouts, two hits and three runs allowed in seven innings.
Cleveland has gone 4-3 on its 10-game homestand, which ends with this weekend's series. The Indians offense erupted late against the New York Yankees with four runs in the seventh inning and five more in the eighth on Thursday to earn a 9-3 victory and a four-game split.
Roberto Perez went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in his big league debut. Chris Dickerson, who was acquired in a trade from Pittsburgh on Monday, went 3-for-4 and is 7-for-15 overall since making his 2014 debut.
"It's one thing to come in and get settled on a new team, but to come in and start contributing right away, that's a big deal," Dickerson said.
The Tribe has won eight of the last nine meetings with Chicago at Progressive Field, although the South Siders have won seven of 10 head-to-head meetings this season. Cleveland enters Friday in third place in the AL Central, 7 1/2 games behind Detroit, while the White Sox currently sit 9 1/2 games off the pace.
07/11 10:36:46 ET