Tribe on fire! Indians hit the road aiming to extend season-high win streak

BY TSX/STATS • July 28, 2017

CHICAGO -- The Cleveland Indians will aim to extend their season-high winning streak to eight games when they visit the Chicago White Sox on Friday night to open a three-game series.

Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio

Cleveland (55-45) sits 10 games above .500, its best mark of the year. The hot streak has revived hopes of another deep playoff run for the Indians.

"We're trying to play the game the right way," shortstop Francisco Lindor said Thursday before he and his teammates departed for Chicago. "It helps a lot. You win a couple games in a row, and it definitely builds up your confidence."

The Indians appear to be catching Chicago at the right time of the season. The White Sox (39-60) are coming off a crosstown series in which they dropped three out of four games to the Chicago Cubs, giving them 12 defeats in their past 13 contests.

A massive rebuild has seen the White Sox trade key contributors such as left-hander Jose Quintana, right-hander David Robertson, third baseman Todd Frazier and righty Tommy Kahnle in the past month. On Thursday, the selloff continued as lefty Dan Jennings was shipped to the Tampa Bay Rays.

White Sox catcher Kevan Smith said he and his teammates would continue to play hard despite the recent slump. Smith and fellow backstop Omar Narvaez have tried to help a rotation that has compiled a 5.79 ERA while recording only 12 quality starts in the past 57 outings.

"Nobody likes to lose, nobody wants to go away without a win," Smith said, "but we're going to keep playing hard. You see every game at the end, we're still fighting."

The results weren't there this week against the Cubs, though. The defending World Series champions clinched the home-and-home set with a 6-3 win Thursday on the South Side.

Earlier Thursday, the Indians were completing a three-game sweep of the visiting Los Angeles Angels with a 2-1 win.

Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar will try to stay hot in his second start since coming off the disabled list. Salazar (3-5, 4.79 ERA) allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings in his most recent outing, Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In 11 career starts against the White Sox, Salazar is 5-4 with a 3.98 ERA. He has walked 26 and struck out a whopping 84 batters in 54 1/3 innings.

For the White Sox, left-hander Derek Holland (5-9, 5.12 ERA) will try to get his season back on track after a series of subpar outings. Holland is 1-5 with a 9.15 ERA since June 2, and opponents are hitting .341 against him during that span.

Holland has enjoyed success against the Indians throughout his career. In 11 starts, he is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA with 21 walks and 52 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings.

The Friday game marks the teams' 10th meeting of the season. Cleveland has a 5-4 edge with a 33-29 advantage in runs scored.

The White Sox are 19-25 at home this season.

Meanwhile, Cleveland is 27-21 on the road. The Indians won two of three games over the White Sox in late April during their first visit of the season to Guaranteed Rate Field.