The Cleveland Indians are looking to match their longest winning streak from last season, and facing the slumping Chicago White Sox may be enough.
The Indians look to capitalize on another meeting with the White Sox as they try for a fourth straight victory Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Cleveland (8-10) went 68-94 last year, finishing ahead of only Minnesota (66-96) in the AL. A four-game winning streak was all the Indians could manage as a season high, and they reached that mark three times, most recently from June 18-22.
They have a chance to equal that streak following a five-game slide.
Asdrubal Cabrera came through in the clutch in Monday’s opener, connecting for a two-out, two-run single in the eighth to provide the difference in a 3-2 win, the Indians third in four meetings with Chicago this season.
“I love those situations,” said Cabrera, who sat out Sunday’s 5-4 win over Houston after hurting his left wrist falling down the stairs of the dugout Saturday.
The shortstop is batting .156 – 120 points lower than his career average.
“Maybe this is the start hopefully of him getting hot,” manager Terry Francona said, “because he’s going to get really hot at some point.”
Cabrera is 8 for 22 with three doubles and six RBIs over his past seven games on the South Side.
The White Sox (7-12), losers of 10 of 13, have plated seven runs while batting .161 – including 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position – during a four-game slide.
They’ve also committed four errors in that stretch. Reliever Matt Thornton accounted for one Monday, when he wildly threw to second in an attempt to pickoff Drew Stubbs, only to have him move to third before Cabrera’s timely hit.
“You just keep shooting yourself in the foot,” manager Robin Ventura said. “And until we clean it up, we’re going to lose games. It’s just that simple. It’s not hard to figure out.”
Chicago may not need much production at the plate with Ventura scheduled to turn to Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.55 ERA), who is trying to continue an impressive stretch with another dominant outing against the Indians.
The left-hander has tossed 13 2-3 scoreless innings over his last two starts, including Wednesday’s 7-0 win at Toronto. He scattered five hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings, five days after being letdown by the offense in a 1-0 loss at Cleveland.
Quintana held the Indians to one hit while fanning seven in seven innings, but didn’t get a decision opposite Justin Masterson’s five-hitter.
Another meeting with the Indians may keep Quintana rolling since he’s 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four games – two starts.
The Indians are expected to counter with Zach McAllister (1-2, 3.12) as he tries to continue his success against the White Sox.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in four starts against them, getting credit for a 9-4 home victory April 13. He yielded three runs – one earned – and five hits before leaving with one out in the seventh.
McAllister followed that up five days later by giving up three runs and three walks while throwing 112 pitches in five innings of a 6-3 loss to Boston.
He has held Paul Konerko to two singles in 12 at-bats and Adam Dunn has one hit – a homer – in 10 at-bats.
Dunn was hitless in four at-bats Monday, and is 1 for 36 with a solo homer and 16 strikeouts in his last 10 games.