Indians-Cardinals Preview

BY foxsports • June 9, 2012

(AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals got a rude welcome into interleague play, though that's not much of a surprise given their history against the Cleveland Indians.

After taking the series opener, Cleveland looks to continue its dominance of St. Louis on Saturday at Busch Stadium.

The Indians have won 13 of the 18 meetings with the Cardinals since interleague play began in 1997 following their 6-2 victory Friday - St. Louis' first crossover game of 2012.

Johnny Damon hit a two-run homer for Cleveland (31-26), which has won three of its last four games after dropping seven of its previous nine.

Michael Brantley went 2 for 5 and is hitting .361 during his 16-game hitting streak - the longest active streak in the majors and longest for the Indians since his 19-game streak from Aug. 30-Sept. 19, 2010.

"He never changes his approach," manager Manny Acta told the team's official website. "He gives us quality at-bats all the time, that's what we like about him. He stays even-keel, even when things aren't going well, and continues to work. But right now he's hitting righties, lefties, everybody."

Asdrubal Cabrera also went 2 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 10.

The Indians, who are visiting St. Louis for the first time since 2006, have won seven of the 10 meetings on the road in the series and will look to keep rolling against Kyle Lohse.

Lohse (5-1, 3.21 ERA) compiled his current record and a 2.08 ERA through seven starts, but he hasn't earned a decision over his last five while compiling a 4.85 ERA.

The right-hander had his best outing during that winless stretch on Monday, giving up one run and two hits through six innings of the Cardinals' 5-4 win over the New York Mets.

"Obviously, I'd like to get more wins than I've been getting lately, but there's nothing I can do about that," Lohse told the team's official website.

Lohse is 3-6 with a 6.35 ERA in 11 interleague starts since 2006 while pitching exclusively with NL teams. He's lost his last four starts with a 9.35 ERA versus the Indians - none since 2007.

St. Louis (30-29) had won three of four heading into Friday's matchup, but got only a pinch-hit two-run single in the seventh inning from Matt Adams. The Cardinals set a season high for runs in a 14-2 win over Houston the previous night, but have lost seven of 10 overall.

"I still believe that this is a defining time for this team because of the schedule, because of the travel," manager Mike Matheny said. "You start to figure out what you're made of - individually and collectively."

St. Louis will look to bounce back against Justin Masterson (2-5, 5.09), who has never faced the Cardinals.

The Indians have lost five of Masterson's last six starts after he allowed three runs in six innings of Sunday's 6-3 loss to Minnesota. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.97 ERA in that stretch.

Masterson is 2-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 10 career interleague starts, including May 18 when he didn't earn a decision after giving up two runs in seven innings of Cleveland's 3-2 loss to Miami.


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