The Tribe have been leading the AL Wild Card race for the better part of the last month and they’ve now surged a half-game ahead of the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central lead after Monday night’s win. Cleveland defeated the Red Sox in the series opener 6-5, thanks to Carlos Santana, who delivered another dramatic walk-off home run to cap off the victory. Santana also belted a go-ahead grand slam on Sunday to propel Cleveland to a 7-3 win at Target Field, where the Indians took three of four games from the Twins this weekend.
Sale dominates Angels in eight-inning gem
Boston is scheduled to hand the ball to lefty ace Chris Sale in Game 2 on Tuesday in hopes that he can build off his stellar start last time out. The Red Sox ace dominated the Angels in his previous start, striking out 13 batters and allowing just two hits in eight scoreless frames to snap a two-game losing streak. Sale has had one of the most bizarre seasons in recent memory, going 6-11 with a 4.41 ERA, despite striking out 206 batters in 140 ⅔ innings of work and posting an xFIP of 2.97. In just over 140 frames, he has walked just 35 batters but is stranding runners at a career-low 67.3 percent clip. His home run per fly ball rate (18.6 percent) and his home runs per nine have doubled compared to last year and his current .313 BABIP would mark the second-highest mark of his MLB career.
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 9, 2019
The 2019 season has seen Sale mix dominant appearances with forgettable outings, which has been the case as of late. In his last eight starts, the Red Sox lefty has given up five runs or more five times. In the other three starts during that span, he’s posted a 0.90 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 20 innings of work.
The Tribe are very familiar with Sale going back to his days in the AL Central with the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland has given him plenty of trouble over the years. In Sale’s last five starts against the Indians dating back to 2016, he is just 1-2 with a 9.97 ERA. He is 5-8 with a career 4.80 ERA in 30 games (19 starts) against the Tribe coming into Tuesday’s matchup.
Clevinger on fire since start of July
The Indians remain without enigmatic outfielder Yasiel Puig for their three-game series versus the Red Sox this week. The suspension stems from Puig’s role in a benches-clearing brawl that occurred prior to the trade deadline during a melee between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Puig enters this series hitting .357 with a home run and six RBIs in 11 games since joining the Tribe and he has 23 home runs and 67 RBIs for the season.
In case you haven't heard …
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) April 1, 2019
Cleveland will send right-handed ace Mike Clevinger to the hill for the second game of their series versus the Red Sox on Tuesday. In his previous trip to the mound, Clevinger set a career-high with 117 pitches to help relieve a depleted bullpen. He gave up just two runs on three hits and racked up nine strikeouts in seven innings of work versus the Twins. The 27-year-old comes in with a 7-2 overall record and a 3.02 ERA in 11 starts this year after missing most of the season with an ankle sprain. Since the beginning of July, Clevinger is 6-0 with a 1.87 ERA in seven starts with six quality outings during that span.
Boston has given Clevinger fits in his young career. The Indians’ right-hander has yet to win a start in three tries versus the Red Sox, going 0-1 with an 8.03 ERA. According to Baseball Savant, current Red Sox batters are hitting .357 in 57 plate appearances off Clevinger heading into Tuesday’s contest.
- Red Sox are 3-11 in their last 14 overall.
- Red Sox are 1-6 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Red Sox are 0-5 in their last 5 road games.
- Indians are 13-3 in their last 16 home games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Indians are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record.
- Indians are 22-7 in their last 29 games vs. a left-handed starter.