Resurgent Indians, skidding Reds clash in makeup game (Jul 24, 2017)
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians, who have halted their post-All-Star-break slump, will host the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night in an "in-and-out" game, as Indians manager Terry Francona called it.
The game is a makeup of an interleague contest between the two teams that was postponed on May 25.
The Ohio teams appear to be two ships passing in the night.
The American League Central-leading Indians are coming off a three-game sweep at Toronto, while the Reds, cellar-dwellers in the National League Central, dropped two of three at home against the Miami Marlins. Cincinnati has lost eight of its past 10 games.
Cleveland's sweep of the Blue Jays came after the Indians went 1-5 on a road trip to Oakland and San Francisco. After an 8-1 win on Sunday, the Indians are 24-24 at Progressive Field, the first time in two months they haven't had a losing record at home.
"Hopefully these three games can jump-start us into playing better and more consistently," Cleveland ace Corey Kluber said.
The Indians are struggling with an offense that has been wildly inconsistent. They outscored Toronto 23-5 in the three games, but that included a 13-3 win Friday followed by a 2-1, 10-inning victory Saturday. On their rough trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, Cleveland scored just 11 runs in the five losses.
Francona is hoping his team has put the offensive malaise behind it with the wins over the Blue Jays.
"We're keeping the line moving, which is a good way to play," Francona said. "When we're using our whole lineup, going from first to third on hits, that's how we're going to have the majority of our success."
The Reds, meanwhile, would just like to win a series.
Third baseman Eugenio Suarez is doing his part. Suarez, who has hit four home runs since the All-Star break, is batting .262 overall with 16 home runs and 50 RBIs. Since the break, he is hitting .324 (12-for-37) with two doubles, four homers and six RBIs.
Suarez is also starting to get noticed for his defense, but Reds manager Bryan Price says recognition for Suarez, or any of his players, would coincide with a better winning percentage.
"We have to be a better team," Price said. "When you're on 'Sunday Night Baseball' and you're coming off a postseason or a World Series, you're going to garner more attention. We're not going to get that until we start winning."
The pitching matchup Monday night will be a pair of right-handers: Cincinnati's Tim Adleman (5-7, 4.96 ERA) and Cleveland's Josh Tomlin (6-9, 5.74).
Adleman hasn't won since June 27. In four starts since then, he is 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA. In his one career start against Cleveland, he pitched 3 1/3 innings and did not get a decision while matched up with Tomlin. Adleman gave up two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks, while Tomlin tossed 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a 7-2 win.
Tomlin started against the Reds on May 22, 2017, and took the loss in a 5-1 Cincinnati victory. He pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on nine hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
In six career starts against Cincinnati, Tomlin is 2-3 with a 4.75 ERA.
Tomlin leads the AL with an average of one walk per nine innings.