Indians-White Sox Preview
That could be the case again given the way Ubaldo Jimenez has been pitching.
Jimenez and the visiting Indians look to keep their playoff drive going Saturday night when they try beat the White Sox for the 11th straight time.
Cleveland (79-68) continued its dominance over last-place Chicago (58-89) with Friday's 3-1 victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The Indians have won 13 of 15 against the White Sox this season, including 10 straight by a 75-37 margin.
That winning streak is the franchise's longest in the history of the series dating to 1901. Though they only had seven hits Friday, the Indians are averaging 7.5 runs while batting .321 with 12 home runs during their run.
"We didn't have a ton of runs, but we made their starter throw a lot of pitches and we got him out of the game and sometimes that's the way you win,'' manager Terry Francona said.
Ryan Raburn had an RBI double, leaving him with 13 for 27 with four homers and 17 RBIs over an eight-game hitting streak versus the White Sox.
"Just trying to have good at-bats,'' said Raburn, who is 6 for 11 with four doubles and 11 RBIs in four games since coming off the disabled list for a strained left Achilles. "That's all I'm doing.''
The Indians, who remain entrenched in a tight six-team race for the AL's two wild-card spots, now turn to Jimenez (11-9, 3.62 ERA).
The right-hander has been sharp with a 1.80 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 50 innings over his last eight starts, though he has a 4-4 record while receiving 21 runs of support.
Jimenez, who hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 17 innings, gave up one unearned run over seven frames to win his second straight start in Monday's 4-3 victory over Kansas City. He struck out 10 for the third time in four outings.
Jimenez, though, has struggled with an 0-3 record and 7.84 ERA in his last four starts against the White Sox. He yielded three runs and nine hits over five innings before leaving without a decision in a 4-3 win in Chicago on June 29.
Francona will be hoping Jimenez can pitch deep into the game after seven relievers tossed 5 1-3 innings Friday.
Gordon Beckham is 6 for 7 with a home run against Jimenez the past two seasons, but has gone 1 for 21 over his last six games overall. Slugger Adam Dunn is hitting .107 with 41 strikeouts in 23 contests since Aug. 18, and 5 for 29 with 16 strikeouts lifetime in this matchup.
The White Sox, who have averaged 2.6 runs while dropping 13 of 15 overall, will try to turn things around offensively for right-hander Andre Rienzo (2-1, 4.50).
After allowing 12 runs and 14 hits over nine innings in his previous two outings, Rienzo gave up one run and four hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 4-2 win at Baltimore on Sunday.
The rookie's first big league start came at Cleveland on July 30, when he yielded three runs and six hits over seven innings before the Indians rallied for four in the eighth in a 7-4 victory.
Yan Gomes went 2 for 3 with three RBIs in that game and is 12 for 18 in his last six against the White Sox.