White Sox-Indians Preview
MAY 03, 2014 11:44p ET
They're now pondering a sweep.
They've righted things with consecutive victories and will now try to run their home winning streak over Chicago to nine games Sunday as Corey Kluber attempts to turn things around after a rough last start.
The Indians (13-17) haven't won three straight yet this season, but another shot at the sliding White Sox (14-17) presents a prime opportunity to change that. After Saturday's 2-0 victory, Cleveland has outscored Chicago 48-23 in eight straight home wins.
Kluber (2-3, 4.14 ERA), who threw a complete game two starts ago, saw his command regress in Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The right-hander allowed four runs on eight hits and walked four in 4 2-3 innings, taking the loss in what his manager saw as a particularly taxing start.
"Man, he had to work so hard," Terry Francona said. "You could tell early on they knew he was going to work ahead in the count, so they were really hacking. I think their leadoff hitters got on in every inning against him, and he wiggled out of the majority of it by making some really good pitches. They were all stressful innings. When I'm keeping track of the pitch count, I always put an asterisk when guys work hard. And it was pretty much every inning."
He was more effective in his first outing against the White Sox on April 13, surrendering two runs in 7 1-3 innings before Chicago walked off with a 4-3 win. He's 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in six career games against the White Sox.
Kluber will be opposed by Andre Rienzo (2-0, 4.05), who is after his third win in as many starts while he fills in for injured starters Chris Sale and Felipe Paulino. In Monday's 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay, the right-hander limited the Rays to three runs - two earned - on five hits while walking three in six innings.
"I don't know how long I'll be here," Rienzo told the team's official website. "But every day I live the dream."
It was more of a nightmare last season against Cleveland as he allowed eight runs, 13 hits and seven walks in 11 innings over two starts.
The White Sox have lost four straight and are in danger of suffering consecutive sweeps after dropping a two-game set with Detroit. Manager Robin Ventura's club had five hits Saturday and is batting .212 during the losing streak.
Right fielder Dayan Viciedo is 0 for 7 in the series as he continues to cool off from a hot start. He's 2 for 17 in the last five games while rookie first baseman Jose Abreu went 0 for 4 Saturday, dipping to 4 for 24 against Cleveland.
"We didn't help (starting pitcher Scott Carroll) out," Ventura said.
Indians catcher Yan Gomes was placed on the paternity leave list prior to Saturday's game, then leadoff hitter Michael Bourn left the game with left hamstring tightness. Bourn was out of the lineup for Sunday's game, with the Indians recalling Nyjer Morgan from Triple-A. Morgan is playing center field and batting leadoff for this contest.
Morgan began the season with Cleveland, batting .348 with three steals, four runs and four RBIs in nine games. He was sent down April 15 when Bourn came off the DL.
With second baseman Jason Kipnis on the disabled list and Gomes also away, the Indians are without a third of their regular lineup. On top of that, Jason Giambi left Saturday's game with a calf injury.
White Sox leadoff hitter Adam Eaton landed on the DL after leaving Friday's contest with a strained right hamstring.
Indians left fielder Michael Brantley is batting .438 during an eight-game hitting streak against the White Sox.