The Cleveland Indians seem to be fading from the postseason picture. They'll try to right the ship on Tuesday when they continue a three- game series versus the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Minnesota added to the Tribe's recent woes in Monday's opener, as Andrew Albers threw his first career shutout in just his second big league start to power the Twins to a 3-0 triumph.
Albers (2-0), who pitched 8 1/3 shutout innings in his debut on Aug. 6, gave up a pair of hits and struck out two without issuing a walk. Albers became the first Twins pitcher to start a career with 17 1/3 scoreless frames.
"I'm not a guy that goes out there and lights up a radar gun or throws devastating secondary stuff. But I can pitch a little bit and so far I've been having a little bit of success," said Albers.
Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer and Brian Dozier added a solo shot for Minnesota, winners in four of its last five games.
Danny Salazar (1-1) gave up three hits, including both homers, and struck out five over four innings to absorb the loss for the Indians, who have lost seven of nine and now sit seven games back of the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central and are 4 1/2 behind in the wild card chase.
Trying to reverse their fortunes on Tuesday will be right-hander Zach McAllister, who was awful his last time out. McAllister couldn't get out of the third inning on Thursday against Detroit, as he surrendered six runs (5 earned) and four hits and walked four batters in just 2 1/3 innings.
It was his fourth straight losing decision and McAllister is 4-7 on the year with a 3.90 ERA.
"I just got out of sync," McAllister said. "I felt good, felt like the ball was coming out the way I wanted it to. I just wasn't able to command it.
"I wasn't able to make the adjustment that I needed to get back into it and get outs when I needed to."
McAllister's struggles could continue, as he has lost all three starts to the Twins and has pitched to an 8.00 ERA in those outings.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with righty Samuel Deduno, who is 7-5 with a 3.38 ERA. Deduno lost to Kansas City on Wednesday, as he allowed four runs and 12 hits in just 5 2/3 innings.
Deduno lost to the Indians the last time he faced them, but is 2-1 in four starts against them with a 4.13 ERA in four starts.
The Indians have split 10 matchups with Minnesota this season.