Indians hope to avoid elimination in Minnesota
Central Division rivals playing out the string meet in game set by hosting the reeling Cleveland Indians.
The hapless Twins lost their fifth straight game and fell for the 10th time in 11 tries in Kansas City on Wednesday when Mike Moustakas went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored to help the Royals sweep a mini two-game set against Minnesota with a 7-3 win.
Michael Cuddyer had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the Twins. Liam Hendriks (0-2) was tagged for five runs on eight hits over five innings in his second career start.
"We haven't played good baseball the whole year," said Cuddyer. "We had that little stretch, June into July when we played well, but we haven't played well [since]."
The Indians have also been struggling mightily and are coming off a three-game sweep in Texas, dropping the getaway game by a 7-4 score on Thursday when Josh Hamilton homered for a third straight contest and Alexi Ogando pitched six shutout innings for the Rangers.
Fausto Carmona (6-15) was charged with seven hits and six runs -- five earned -- over six innings to drop his third straight decision for Cleveland, which was outscored 26-9 in the set and was a dismal 1-9 vs. Texas this year.
Cleveland's loss also reduced Detroit's magic number to one for clinching the AL Central title. Nonetheless, Indians manager Manny Acta said it's been a good year for his team.
"There are a lot of positives out of the year so far," he said. "We never anticipated we could survive all the things that happened to our ball club."
The Indians will be officially eliminated from the postseason with a loss to the Twins or if the Tigers win at Oakland later Friday.
The winless Kevin Slowey takes the hill for Minnesota tonight. The right- hander is 0-5 this year but has had some success against the Indians in the past, compiling a 6-2 record with a 3.53 ERA in 10 career starts versus the Tribe.
Ubaldo Jimenez opposes Slowey. The flamethrower is 3-2 with an ERA just under 5.00 since arriving from Colorado in a trade on July 30, and is just 9-11 overall with a 4.61 ERA after a breakout 2010 season that saw the Dominican go 19-8 with the Rockies.
The Indians are 5-6 against Minnesota this season, including a 2-4 mark at Target Field.