Indians What to Watch: T.J. back in the house for the Indians
Jul 19, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes (10) high fives teammates after scoring a run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota– T.J. House gets his ninth start of the season tonight as the Indians begin a three-game series in Minnesota against the Twins. How long he stays in the rotation though remains to be seen.
House was sent down on July 11 to remain on his normal routine and get some added work in. He pitched five scoreless innings for Mahoning Valley last Wednesday, allowing only two hits and striking out four. With House being called up before the game, Austin Adams was optioned back to Columbus.
The left-hander, who is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA, moved into the rotation on May 23 after Zach McAllister was placed on the disabled list. House has worked into the sixth inning on six of his eight starts but went only 4 2/3 in getting a no decision on July 10 against the Yankees.
"One of the things they wanted him to work on was on-field poise. He’s excelled at that and seems to get it," manager Terry Francona said of House. "Now he’s in the Major League mix. No one wants to hear they are going down but he is an integral part and for teams to have guys with options it really helps."
The Indians lead the season series 4-3 but this is their first trip to Target Field this season. They were 7-3 in games at Minnesota last year, including wins in six of the last seven.
While Cleveland is coming in on a roll, the Twins were swept by Tampa Bay over the weekend and has lost five straight overall.
Indians Live gets things going on SportsTime Ohio at 7:30 p.m. Here are some other things to watch in the game:
LINEUP SHUFFLING: With Francona wanting to get everyone at least one game off during the first five games after the break, Michael Brantley gets a rare night off while Nick Swisher gets his first start of the season in right field. Swisher played right in 27 games last year with the last one being Sept. 28 against the Twins. Mike Aviles will play center and Ryan Raburn gets his second straight start in left. Yan Gomes will be the designated hitter with Roberto Perez behind the plate for the third time since being called up on July 8.
HOT IN JULY: The Indians are 11-5 this month, which is the third-best mark in the American League behind the Angels (24-3) and Rays (11-4). The Tribe leads the Majors in homers hit in July with 22, including six in the series at Detroit.
TWINS STARTER: Kris Johnson (0-1, 5.40) is making his third start of the season and fourth of his career. Making his first start since May 1, Johnson took the loss July 11 at Colorado, allowing five runs on eight hits.
COMFORTABLE AT HOME: Kurt Suzuki has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 home games, hitting .397 (23 for 58) with seven doubles, five RBI and nine runs scored in those games.
STREAKING: Kendrys Morales has a 10-game hitting streak and is 12 for 40 during that span with six doubles and seven RBI.