The Cleveland Indians know there is little room for error if they’re to make a serious push toward the postseason.
They look to bounce back from a frustrating defeat by taking Thursday night’s decisive series finale against the Chicago White Sox.
After pounding out 14 hits in Tuesday’s 8-6, 10-inning victory at Chicago, Cleveland (67-64) recorded five Wednesday night when its three-game winning streak ended with a 3-2 defeat.
Though the Indians lost for only the fifth time in 15 games, they dropped 6 1/2 behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central and are 4 1/2 out of the second wild-card spot.
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the third, but Chicago (60-72) scored twice in the bottom half and snapped a 2-2 tie with a run in the seventh to end its seven-game skid.
"As a team we feel like we are better than our record shows," said Chicago center fielder Adam Eaton, who is 3 for 8 in two games since missing a little more than two weeks with a strained oblique.
"We’re going to put our best effort forward and hopefully these wins will come more readily."
The White Sox have traditionally had their way with Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco (5-4, 3.14 ERA), who is 0-4 with a 7.12 ERA in six starts against them. He gave up five runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 9-6 loss April 11 to fall to 0-2 with an 8.82 ERA in three starts at U.S. Cellular Field.
Carrasco, though, did not yield a run or hit in 1 2-3 innings of relief at Chicago on May 26.
The right-hander has allowed a solo homer, six other hits and struck out 17 with two walks over 18 innings to 2-0 in three starts since re-entering the rotation Aug. 10. He gave up that home run, one other hit and both walks while fanning eight in six innings of a 5-1 loss to Houston on Friday.
Cuban rookie Jose Abreu is 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Carrasco, but 10 for 19 with six RBIs in his last five contests.
Teammate Alejandro De Aza is 5 for 10 with two doubles versus Carrasco.
John Danks (9-8, 4.96) allowed 11 runs in 11 innings to split his first two starts against the Indians this season, then gave up one run in seven innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 defeat at Cleveland on July 13.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 7.67 ERA in his last five starts and has yielded three runs each in two straight. He was unable to hold an early 3-0 lead against the Yankees on Friday and lasted five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 4-3 loss.
Danks has allowed seven home runs while walking 15 and striking out 12 in those five outings.
"I’m still walking too many guys and giving up homers," he told MLB’s official website. "That’s what has gotten me in trouble in the past and continues to get me in trouble. It’s frustrating, like I said, but it’s part of it, and we’ll do what we can to fix it."
Mike Aviles is 3 for 8 with a double versus Danks this season and batting .410 against Chicago in 2014.