Indians-Red Sox: Lonnie out of lineup, Santana warming up?
After dropping a pair in Kansas City, the Indians begin a four-game series in Boston tonight in hopes of getting things back on track.
Before facing the Royals, the Tribe had won nine of 10 and had drawn within two games of Detroit. With the Tigers on a three-game losing streak, Cleveland is just 2 1/2 games back but is back at .500 at 33-33. They are 3-3 on the current 10-game road trip.
The Red Sox are in the middle of a stretch where they are playing 36 games in 37 days. They are 9-12 so far including being swept in three games at Progressive Field last week.
The Indians are expected to make a roster move today as they could activate first baseman Nick Swisher, who has been out since May 27 due to a hyperextended left knee. Swisher went 3 for 4 in his second rehab game with Akron on Wednesday.
Indians Live gets things going at 6:30 p.m. Here are some of the other storylines to watch:
Tomlin encore: Josh Tomlin (4-2, 3.12) went eight innings last Saturday in Texas, allowing three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. In his six starts this season he has worked at least five innings and has allowed three earned runs or fewer. The left-hander has gone 1-1 with a 7.17 ERA (17 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings) in four games (three starts) against the Red Sox.
Warming up? Carlos Santana is 7 for 21 with five RBI since returning from the disabled list and has raised his batting average to .178.
Looking back: David Murphy (5 for 11, 2 RBI), Jason Kipnis (4 for 12, RBI), Michael Bourn (5 for 13, 2 RBI), Michael Brantley (4 for 12, 4 RBI) and Asdrubal Cabrera (4 for 13, HR, 4 RBI) also had big series against the Red Sox.
Red Sox starter: John Lester (6-7, 3.52) faced Cleveland twice last season, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA (6 ER/14 IP) with 13 strikeouts and 2 walks. In five starts against the Indians at Fenway Park, the left-hander has a 2.97 ERA.
Leading off: Brock Holt has reached base in 18 of his 20 games as the Red Sox leadoff hitter but had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on Wednesday in Baltimore.
Tough out? Xander Bogaerts was 4 of 13 with three RBI against the Indians with two of the hits being home runs.