CLEVELAND -- With their manager feeling better again, the Cleveland Indians returned home, and Thursday night they will begin their longest homestand of the season.
Cleveland will play four teams in an 11-game homestand, starting Thursday night with the first game of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.
Indians manager Terry Francona is expected to be in the dugout, after experiencing a health scare in Washington, where the Indians lost 7-4 on Wednesday. That was Francona's first game back with the team after missing Tuesday's game due to chest pains.
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Francona experienced the pains during his pre-game session with the media.
"I came up to the training room, and my heart rate was over 100," Francona told MLB.com. "Next thing I know, I'm hooked up to all these monitors and embarrassed. They kind of checked me out, gave me an EKG and everything, and then they sent me back to the hotel."
Francona was expected to undergo further tests in Cleveland on Thursday, but barring the unexpected, he will be in the dugout for Thursday's game. Francona will send his ace, Corey Kluber (11-8, 3.22) to the mound against Angels right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (3-7, 5.27).
Kluber is the one Cleveland starting pitcher who hasn't been affected by a recent slump that struck the other four pitchers in the rotation. Kluber is coming off an outstanding start in his last appearance, Sunday in New York, when he held the Yankees to two runs and five hits in eight innings of a 5-2 Indians victory. In his last five starts Kluber is 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .202 batting average. In his last start vs. the Angels on June 10, he pitched a three-hit complete game 6-2 victory.
Chacin will make the start, replacing Tim Lincecum in the rotation, after Lincecum was designated for assignment on Saturday. Thursday's start will be Chacin's first since July 1. In eight relief appearances since then he had a 2.55 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .175 batting average. He has made 15 starts this season, and in those games he was 3-7 with a 5.87 ERA.
Chacin will be working with catcher Geovany Soto, who was activated off the disabled list and in his first game back Wednesday went 0-for-3, with a walk, in the Angels' 3-1 loss' to the Cubs. Soto had been on the disabled list since July 18 with a left knee inflammation. Soto also missed about six weeks earlier in the season with torn meniscus in his right knee, so Tuesday was only the 23rd game he had played with the Angels this year.
"Geovany, he's a veteran presence and he knows his way around a game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com. "He's great working with pitchers and he still swings the bat well, so we're happy to get him back in our lineup. Hopefully he'll contribute and give us a little bit of a spark."
The Angels could use one. Wednesday's loss to the Cubs was the Angels' sixth loss in a row, and they have fallen into last place in the AL West. Cleveland will be the final leg on the Angels' nine-game, 10-day, three-city road trip to Seattle, Chicago and Cleveland.
The Indians, who lead the AL Central, have won five of their last six meetings with the Angels, and have held them to three runs or less in six of their last eight meetings.