Series: Game 2 of 3

Minnesota leads 1-0 (as of 9/10)

Game 1: Tuesday, September 9
Game 2: Wednesday, September 10
Game 2: Thursday, September 11
Game 3: Thursday, September 11

Coverage:  STOH

7:05 PM ET, September 10, 2014

Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

Twins-Indians Preview


The Cleveland Indians are still holding out hope that they'll make the playoffs, though their slim chances could soon be dashed if the offense doesn't start producing.

They'll try to wake up the bats Wednesday night at home against the Minnesota Twins.

Cleveland (74-69) has scored just 13 runs in its last five games after a 4-3 loss in Tuesday's series opener. The Indians were unable to break through against a last-place Minnesota squad and rookie starter Trevor May, who came in with a 9.38 ERA before limiting them to two runs in five innings.

Cleveland trails four teams in the AL wild-card standings.

"You want to win every game you play, especially because we need to desperately," manager Terry Francona said.

The Indians are trying to avoid losing three straight at home for the first time since a season-worst four-game skid there June 20-July 4.

They outhit the Twins 9-5, but were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position -- falling to 4 for 23 over the last three games. Minnesota cashed in on its limited opportunities, going 3 for 4.

Michael Brantley was 0 for 3 to snap his hitting streak at 12 games, while Lonnie Chisenhall is 2 for 18 over his last five.

Cleveland should be in striking distance if rookie T.J. House's recent performances are any indication. House (2-3, 3.71 ERA) has completed seven innings in two straight starts while limiting Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox to one run in each. He didn't record a decision either time, however, receiving a combined three runs of support.

The left-hander was up to the challenge Friday pitching opposite Chris Sale, yielding only a solo homer to Alexei Ramirez and lasting an inning longer than the Chicago ace.

Wednesday's matchup isn't as daunting with Minnesota turning to Kyle Gibson (11-10, 4.27), who is 1-2 with a 5.45 ERA over his last six outings with just one quality start.

Included in that stretch is a 7-5 loss to Cleveland on Aug. 19 in which he was charged with five runs in 5 1/3 innings, though he wasn't tagged with the defeat. He held the Indians in check in two earlier matchups, surrendering a run over a combined 12 innings.

The right-hander gave up four runs over seven innings in Minnesota's 5-4 loss to the Angels on Thursday. All four runs came in the fourth, marking the third time in six starts that he's allowed at least three in a single inning.

"It was an unfortunate inning," Gibson told MLB's official website. "If I can limit the damage, it would change the outcome of the game."

The Twins (62-82) scored all their runs Tuesday in the fourth inning, led by Oswaldo Arcia's two-run homer -- his second in three games.

"Our job is to go out and compete against these teams that are in a pennant race," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They're battling and we have to go out and play A-grade baseball. We owe it to the rest of the league to give everything we have."

Arcia has hit .381 with three homers and seven RBIs in his last six versus Cleveland.

House owns a 2.61 ERA in two starts against Minnesota and threw 5 1/3 innings in a 5-0 road victory Aug. 20.

Yan Gomes is 3 for 7 with a home run against Gibson.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Gameday Matchup

Current StreakL1W1
Last 105-56-4

Research Notes

Kennys Vargas has slugged an AL-high .797 in the second half in at-bats to end on a fastball of at least 90 mph; T.J. House's average fastball velocity this season is 91 mph.

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