CLEVELAND -- The last time the Indians played at Progressive Field, on July 26, they rallied for a thrilling comeback victory over Justin Verlander and the Tigers.
Cleveland was 3 1/2 games out of first place. But then the Indians went to Minnesota, opening a nine-game road trip, and all they did was lose.
According to Paul Hoynes, in the Plain Dealer, it was the first time in the team’s 112-year history that it has gone winless on a road trip of nine or more games. The Indians are now 9 1/2 games back. On the trip, they were outscored 74-28 and batted .218 as a team and .183 with runners in scoring position.
Sunday’s loss in Detroit was the ultimate capper, as the teams were tied 5-5 in the ninth. The Indians pulled a miracle escape in the ninth inning, after Austin Jackson hit a leadoff triple, then took an 8-5 lead in the 10th. Closer Chris Perez recorded two quick outs, but the Tigers stormed back with five runs, capped by a walk-off homer from Miguel Cabrera.
The weather in Cleveland is beautiful today, but I’m guessing walk-up sales won’t be strong, as the Indians open a three-game series with the Twins.
Tsuyoshi Nishioka is here and was out for early batting practice with the Twins.
Stats of the day: The Twins have won their past five games against Cleveland, outscoring the Indians 41-13 in that stretch. The same three pitchers the Twins will use in this series -- Scott Diamond, Sam Deduno and Brian Duensing -- held the Indians to two runs in 22 2/3 innings in Minnesota's sweep at Target Field from July 27-29.
Update: Nishioka is playing second base and batting seventh.
Update: The Twins plan to give Nishioka regular playing time at second base.
"That’s what he was playing down there [for Class AAA Rochester] and playing very well," Manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That’s what we’re going to do. All the reports have been that he’s playing fantastic baseball and having quality at-bats and playing solid defense. So I’m excited to see if he can carry that right into here and do what we had planned him doing from the get-go.”
1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, RF
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
8. Brian Dozier, SS
9. Jamey Carroll, 3B
Starting pitcher: LH Scott Diamond (9-5, 2.93 ERA)
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, 1B
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Shelley Duncan, DH
7. Jose Lopez, 3B
8. Lou Maron, C
9. Ezequiel Carrera, LF
Starting pitcher: RH Zach McAllister (4-3, 3.42 ERA)
Progressive Field. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. (Central). TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network
Follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib