It’s been more than a century since the Cleveland Indians started their home schedule with five straight losses.
They would much rather not make history Wednesday.
The Indians try to notch that elusive first win at Progressive Field and prevent the Chicago White Sox from a fourth consecutive victory in the conclusion of this two-game series.
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Cleveland’s struggles continued with Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the White Sox, but that score wasn’t the worst news for the Indians (2-5). Pitcher Carlos Carrasco had to leave in the first inning after he was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Melky Cabrera.
X-rays taken at Lutheran Hospital were negative, and Carrasco returned to Progressive Field during the game. Manager Terry Francona said Carrasco has a bruise, "a pretty good one," but was feeling well enough to do arm exercises.
"In the big picture, we dodged a really big bullet," Francona said. "Very fortunate."
The injury is another early blow to Cleveland, which put catcher Yan Gomes on the disabled list Sunday with a sprained knee and could be without him for two months. All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley missed his fifth straight game with a bad back and is not expected to play Wednesday.
"He’s really trending in a good way," Francona said of Brantley. "We want to make sure we get him going in the right direction and keep him going in the right direction."
Since allowing three runs while winning two of three at Houston, Indians pitchers have posted a 6.75 ERA and walked 18 over 36 innings during the 0-4 start at home.
No Indians team has started 0-5 at home since the Cleveland Broncos in 1902.
Some production from Brandon Moss could help avoid that fate, but the slugger, acquired from Oakland in December, is 2 for 20 with one extra-base hit and nine strikeouts this season.
"You’re going to have those days with Mossy," Francona said. "I’m as confident when it’s all said and done putting up some pretty big numbers. That’s part of the package, but when he gets hot you’ll see the other part."
Chicago (3-4) is trending in the opposite direction, winning three in a row following a season-opening four-game skid. Jose Abreu homered and Jose Quintana allowed one unearned run over six innings Tuesday.
In perhaps a sign that the White Sox are headed for better things after last year’s disappointing 89-loss season, they have a chance to match their longest win streak from all of 2014.
They’ll likely need a better performance from John Danks for that to happen. The left-hander wasn’t sharp in his season debut, allowing four runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-1 loss at Kansas City on Thursday.
He was 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts against the Indians last season, though he surrendered only three runs over 13 innings in the last two – both 3-2 losses for Chicago.
This is a very favorable matchup for Ryan Raburn, who is 14 for 42 with three homers and five doubles against Danks.
Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer was nearly part of history in his first start. He tossed six no-hit innings Thursday at Houston and a pair of relievers followed with one hitless inning apiece before Nick Hagadone allowed Jed Lowrie’s one-out home run in he ninth.
Bauer struck out a career-high 11, walked five and threw 111 pitches in the 5-1 win.
The right-hander’s last start against the White Sox was also very good. He struck out 10 over 6 2-3 scoreless innings on July 13 when matched up with Danks but did not receive a decision.