Owners of the longest win streak in the major leagues, the Cleveland Indians try to stretch their successful run to six straight on Saturday as they do battle with the Minnesota Twins in the second of a three- game series at Progressive Field.
Despite having won eight of their last 11 outings overall, the Indians are still just .500 on the campaign through 26 contests following their 7-6 victory in 10 innings on Friday. Drew Stubbs played the hero for the hosts as he doubled in Mike Aviles to win the game.
Stubbs finished with four of his team's 13 hits, three of those being doubles, while Aviles tallied three hits and scored twice. Also having a strong game at the plate was Jason Kipnis, who knocked in four runs with a pair of hits in five at-bats. Now batting .293, Mark Reynolds connected on his ninth home run of 2013 and plated a pair.
"It was fun," Reynolds said. "A tight game, get all the adrenaline pumping, have guys in big spots coming up huge, to get to go out there and run around and act like kids, even though most of us are grown men -- these kind of nights are fun."
Justin Masterson started the game for Cleveland on the mound, lasting 6 2/3 innings as he gave up five runs on eight hits and a pair of walks, striking out five. Chris Perez pitched a scoreless 10th in order to pick up his first decision of the season.
Chris Parmelee belted a two-run home run for the visitors and Trevor Plouffe added a solo shot, but still the Twins suffered their third setback in the last four outings. Brian Dozier contributed three hits in the loss as well.
Like Masterson, Minnesota starter Pedro Hernandez was not around to factor into the decision, making it through 5 1/3 innings, permitting five runs on eight hits and four walks. Instead, it was Casey Fien who was saddled with his second defeat of the campaign.
Taking the hill for the visitors this afternoon is Kevin Correia, the right- hander gunning for his fourth win of the season. The California native last threw on Sunday versus Texas at home and picked up his third straight win in the process.
Against the Rangers, Correia allowed six hits over eight scoreless innings, walking one and striking out a pair as he lowered his ERA to 2.23 through five appearances.
For his career, Correia has a record of 0-1 and a 1.59 ERA against the Indians.
As for Cleveland, the squad plans to hand the ball to Scott Kazmir for just his third start of the campaign. The lefty was last in action a week ago at Kansas City and was dealt his only decision thus far as the Tribe bowed in a 3-2 final.
Kazmir made it through five innings, permitting a pair of runs on five hits and a couple of walks, while fanning four.
Over the course of six career appearances against the Twins, Kazmir has a record of 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA.
The Tribe have now won back-to-back meetings with the Twins, dating back to their last matchup a season ago in Cleveland when the hosts grabbed a 4-3 victory in 10 innings as well.