American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, July 15th
(All times eastern)
Cleveland Indians (45-42) at Toronto Blue Jays (44-44), 1:07 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Derek Lowe (8-6, 4.43)
Toronto - Carlos Villanueva (3-0, 3.05)
(Sports Network) - Despite their inconsistent play recently, the Cleveland
Indians are still in the hunt for AL Central supremacy.
The Indians target a series win over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday afternoon in
the rubber match of a three-game set from Rogers Centre and have alternated
wins and losses over the past six games. At three games behind the Chicago
White Sox for the division lead, Cleveland dropped an 11-9 decision on
Saturday and saw Ubaldo Jimenez get rocked for eight runs in only 2 1/3
innings. He allowed seven hits, including two home runs, and walked four.
"I just couldn't get my pitches over the plate," said Jimenez. "I fell behind
in the count a lot, and once I tried to pitch inside, they just took advantage
Michael Brantley, Shelley Duncan and Casey Kotchman all homered for Cleveland,
which recorded a 1-0 win in Friday's series opener and will visit Tampa Bay
for four games after today's tilt. Brantley has a 12-game hitting streak with
six multi-hit efforts in that span. He has three hits in each of his last
Derek Lowe hopes to string back-to-back wins together when he toes the rubber
for the Indians this afternoon. Lowe ended a five-start winless (0-3) stretch
his last time out in a 12-3 pounding of the LA Angels of Anaheim, as he
yielded three runs and 11 hits in six innings.
Lowe, who has allowed at least three runs in each of his last five starts, is
8-6 with a 4.43 ERA in 17 starts this season. The veteran right-hander started
his first season in Cleveland with a 6-1 mark and kicked off the 2012 campaign
in a 4-3 win over Toronto. He allowed two unearned runs in seven innings to
improve to 7-9 in 42 games (11 starts) with a 4.37 ERA against the Jays.
Toronto hopes to win its first series since taking two of three at Miami from
June 22-24, and scored 11 runs on Saturday for the second time in three games.
The Blue Jays, who recorded an 11-9 win last Sunday versus the White Sox, got
two home runs and three RBI from Edwin Encarnacion. Adam Lind finished 4-for-5
with four RBI and Yunel Escobar homered for Toronto, which has won two of
three since losing three in a row and five of seven.
"The potential for us to do this almost every day with this lineup is pretty
high," said Lind. "To score eight in one inning, it takes contributions from
one through nine. We need to stay away from shutouts as much as possible, but
when we can turn it on like this we'll be successful."
Encarnacion, who just singed a contract extension with the club, has 25 home
runs this season. His career high was 26 back in 2008 with Cincinnati.
Aaron Laffey allowed eight hits and four runs over five innings for his first
win of the season. Toronto will hit the road for six games against the New
York Yankees and Boston Red Sox after today's contest.
The Blue Jays will hand the ball to Carlos Villanueva Sunday and he will make
his third start of the season. Villanueva is 3-0 with a 3.05 earned run
average in 24 games (2 starts) this season and threw six scoreless innings in
a 4-1 win over Kansas City on July 4. He also fanned seven batters.
Villanueva, a right-hander, has faced the Indians twice in relief this season
and owns no record and a 1.59 ERA in four career games (1 start) against them.
Toronto took two of three from the Tribe earlier in the year.
07/15 10:36:49 ET