Indians, Marlins both in thick of playoff races heading into weekend series
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians are chasing a division championship in the American League Central and the Miami Marlins are pursuing a Wild Card spot in the National League.
On Friday night, the teams will meet in Cleveland for the first game of a three-game series, the final interleague games for both teams.
The Indians are in first place in the AL Central, 4 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Detroit Tigers. The Marlins are in third place in the NL East, but are still very much alive in the race for the second Wild Card spot.
With major league rosters able to be expanded starting Sept. 1, both the Indians and Marlins made several roster moves Thursday.
The Indians officially added Coco Crisp to their roster. Crisp was acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday in which the Indians sent minor league pitcher Colt Hynes to the A's.
Crisp was acquired to replace Abraham Almonte on the Indians' postseason roster, assuming they make it. Almonte is not eligible for the postseason after being suspended for the first 80 games of the season for a positive steroids test.
"If we're fortunate enough to move on (to the postseason), we won't have Abe. That's the reality of where we are," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Coco is a veteran player who has been through it before. He can play left field or center, and he's hitting really well with runners in scoring position."
Crisp leads the majors with a .424 batting average with runners in scoring position.
The Indians also recalled pitchers Cody Anderson and Joe Colon on Thursday, and infielder Erik Gonzalez from Triple-A Columbus. Catcher Adam Moore's contract was purchased from Columbus, and the Indians designated Columbus outfielder Collin Cowgill for assignment.
The Indians also activated pitcher Danny Salazar from the paternity leave list.
The Marlins recalled pitchers Brian Ellington and Nefi Ogando and catcher Tomas Telis from Triple-A New Orleans. In addition, outfielder Destin Hood's contract was purchased from New Orleans. The Marlins also designated pitcher Raudel Lazo for assignment.
The addition of Hood gives Miami manager Don Mattingly another option in the outfield, where the Marlins are short a man. Marcell Ozuna did not play in the Marlins 6-4 win over the Mets on Thursday night, due to a sprained left wrist. Ozuna hurt the wrist making a diving catch in Wednesday's game. X-rays were negative, and Ozuna is day-to-day.
The Marlins can ill-afford to lose Ozuna for any length of time. With a month left in the regular season, Miami is still in the hunt for a spot in the postseason.
"I like our club and our makeup," Mattingly told MLB.com. "We'll see where we go this last month. We think it's going to be a fun month for us. We're going to learn a lot about our team, playing in these types of games."
The pitching matchup Friday will be Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco (9-7, 3.23) versus Miami's Andrew Cashner (4-10, 4.73). This will be Cashner's seventh appearance and sixth start since the July 29 trade that sent him from the San Diego Padres to Miami. In three starts since the trade, Cashner is 0-3 with a 4.61 ERA. He has never faced the Indians, nor has Carrasco ever faced the Marlins.
Miami snapped a five-game losing streak with its win over the New York Mets on Thursday. The Indians are coming off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins.