Justin Masterson aims for his first career victory against game sweep today at Target Field.
Cleveland is out of the race in the AL Central, but has a chance to finish in second place for the first time since 2007, when the Indians won the division and beat the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs before falling to Boston in the ALCS in seven games. The Tribe enter today two games ahead of the White Sox for second place.
The last time the Indians swept a series from the Twins in Minneapolis was September 3-5, 2007.
On the losing end of each of his last two starts, Masterson holds an 0-4 mark with a 3.56 ERA in 11 games (8 starts) when facing Minnesota. The Indians were on the positive side on six straight of his outings from July 30 to August 23, but recently the Tribe has lost three times in his last four games pitched. He's 5-1 in his last seven road starts.
Carl Pavano had a two-start win streak stopped his last time on the hill, Tuesday against Kansas City when the Twins were shut out. Prior to that, the veteran right-hander endured a winless stretch of nine outings (0-5). Pavano is 3-2 in eight starts when facing Cleveland.
With just seven games left on the schedule at Target Field, it's conceivable the Twins can set a record for most home defeats in a season. They have already lost 44 as the host, their most since 2000, when they dropped 45 at the Metrodome. The team record of 50 home losses was set in 1999.
The Twins were on the wrong end again yesterday in a 10-4 final.
Carlos Santana's two-run homer highlighted a six-run second inning. Jeanmar Gomez (4-2) pitched into the seventh and got the win, but limped off the field with an apparent right leg injury when he jumped off the mound to try and snag a high chopper. He tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three.
"We were able to score enough runs early in the game to get Jeanmar Gomez an early lead. He took advantage of it," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He came out of the game and he's ok. He landed awkward on his knee, he was going after the ball and sprained it a little bit."
Asdrubal Cabrera added four hits with an RBI and two runs scored for the Tribe, while Jason Kipnis went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two driven in.
Twins starter Anthony Swarzak (3-7) hit the showers early. He lasted just 1 2/3 innings, surrendering seven runs on seven hits while walking one. Swarzak hasn't won a game since August 3, and has lost each of his last four decisions.
The Twins have dropped seven in a row, while the Indians have won two straight after losing the previous three.
"By now we're just trying to get through the years as healthy as can be, and just come back with our heads held high for next year," Twins center fielder Ben Revere said.
Cleveland leads the season series, 7-6. The teams will play a four-game series at Progressive Field next weekend.