Indians-Athletics Preview

The Cleveland Indians’ 13-game home winning streak has largely

contributed to them holding baseball’s best record through the

first month of the season. Heading into a West Coast trip,

improving their 6-6 road mark becomes the priority.

Cleveland begins a six-game swing through California on Tuesday

night against the Oakland Athletics, who have won six of eight at

home.

The Indians (19-8) completed a 6-0 homestand following a

three-game losing streak with a 5-4 win against Detroit on Sunday.

Matt LaPorta had two doubles and three RBIs in the victory.

“A super, fantastic homestand. Just terrific,” manager Manny

Acta said. “Winning breeds confidence and these kids right now are

feeling pretty good.”

Despite their home success, the Indians have lost six of eight

on the road after winning their first four away from Progressive

Field. Following this series, they play three against Los

Angeles.

Acta said his team must carry over the success from its

homestand.

“Expectations don’t change,” he said. “You try to win every

game. We’ll try to take some home cooking on the road.”

Fausto Carmona (2-3, 5.15 ERA) looks to keep the Indians rolling

by building on his most recent start. The right-hander beat Kansas

City 8-2 on Thursday, allowing two runs through seven innings.

Carmona’s numbers are much more respectable following his

opening day performance against Chicago on April 1, when he allowed

10 runs in three innings. He’s 2-2 with a 2.94 ERA in four starts

since, and has gone at least seven innings in three of them.

However, Carmona hasn’t been very impressive against the A’s.

He’s 3-5 with a 5.54 ERA in 10 appearances, going 0-2 with a 4.61

ERA in his last two starts.

Hideki Matsui is one of four Athletics hitting above .300

against Carmona.

Matsui had an RBI groundout in the fifth inning and homered in

the bottom of the 10th on Monday to give Oakland (15-14) its fourth

win in five games, 5-4 over Texas. Despite his big day, Matsui is

hitting .242.

“The adjustments are ongoing on a daily basis,” he said. “That’s

what I have been doing and it’s what I will keep doing.”

Matsui is 7 for 11 (.636) with a home run against Carmona, while

former Indian Coco Crisp (.545), Mark Ellis (.313) and David

DeJesus (.308) also have hit him well.

Crisp had the day off Monday as a precaution after he returned

Sunday from a three-game absence with tightness in his left

hamstring.

Starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy committed two errors, giving

Oakland an AL-most 27. Grant Balfour pitched around three walks in

the top of the 10th to earn the win.

“We’ve been up and down through April,” McCarthy said. “To start

May like this is something we needed. The bullpen was outstanding.

They stood up and got my back.”

Right-hander Tyson Ross (1-2, 2.76) will make his first start

against Cleveland after tossing seven scoreless innings in

Oakland’s 2-1, 10-inning victory against the Angels on

Wednesday.

Ross pitched two scoreless innings against Cleveland on April

23, 2010.

The A’s went 6-3 against Cleveland last season, winning two of

three meetings at home.