Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera (13) is surrounded by his teammates at home plate after scoring the winning run on a balk in the 14th inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field.
CLEVELAND — Last season the Indians were under the .500 mark as late as June 17. This year they are going to need a great start the first half of the month to repeat that.
Considering what is coming up this month that might be easier said than done.
Of the Indians 27 games this month, 16 are on the road, including a 10-game, three-city trip to Texas, Kansas City and Boston that begins Friday and goes until June 15. Even though the Tribe are an AL-best 17-11 at home, they are a league-worst 9-19 on the road.
The Indians were 15-13 last June. It started with a six-game losing streak but included a pair of four-game win streaks.
The Tribe begin June the same place they started May — in the AL Central basement. The only saving grace remains that they are only five games in back of the second Wild-Card spot because only five teams in the American League are over .500.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR JUNE
Can Masterson rebound? After a great spring, Justin Masterson is 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA. The ERA is third-highest in the American League among pitchers who have made 11 or more starts. His velocity has been down and in May he had his share of control problems, especially with offspeed stuff.
Will Chisenhall become an everyday player? Even with the great start, the one knock against Lonnie Chisenhall was how he did against lefties. That is no longer the case as he has gone 9 of 16 this season and had a home run in Saturday’s win over Colorado.
Will someone take over the closer’s job? John Axford, who lost the job three weeks ago, hasn’t allowed a run in his last three appearances but Terry Francona still hasn’t put him in a late-game situation. Cody Allen has three saves, including the first two games of the Colorado series, but it still might be closer by committee.