(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins go for their fifth straight win and ninth in 10 games this month as they conclude a three-game series Sunday with the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Minnesota will send Trevor May to the mound in hopes of closing out the series sweep, while hard-throwing righty Danny Salazar counters for Cleveland.
The 6-foot-5 May is 2-2 this season with a 4.15 earned run average, adding 20 strikeouts and five walks to his resume. He's been relatively consistent in his five starts this season, although his high pitch count Tuesday hindered his chance at a win. May went 5 2/3 innings against Oakland and surrendered two runs in the team's 2-1 loss to the A's.
The 25-year-old May is 2-1 against Cleveland in his career with a 5.74 ERA. He's made one road start this season in which he lasted only 3 1/3 innings against Seattle, giving up two runs and three hits in a no-decision.
Salazar, who turned 25 earlier this year, is off to a strong start for the Indians. He owns a 3-1 record with a 3.81 ERA and 37 strikeouts, compared with just five walks. He also leads Major League Baseball with a rate of 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
Salazar's most recent start turned into a tough-luck loss after he lasted seven innings and gave up four runs on five hits, fanning nine batters in the process. The Indians dropped the contest to Kansas City, 5-3.
In five starts versus the Twins in his career, Salazar is 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 12 walks in 27 innings of work.
The Twins fended off a late comeback attempt by Cleveland Saturday to hang on for a 7-4 victory, the team's eighth this month in nine games.
Minnesota got off on the right foot Saturday when Torii Hunter homered to left-center field in the first inning. By the time the top half of the sixth was through, the Twins held a 7-0 advantage. Eduardo Escobar finished the night with two RBI after going 3-for-5 at the plate.
Phil Hughes started strong on the mound but trailed off in the sixth and seventh innings. He was chased from the game after surrendering Cleveland's fourth run on the team's 10th hit. Still, he earned the win.
"I didn't feel I had great stuff today, but I was able to locate some pitches pretty well," Hughes said following the game.
Veteran Bruce Chen was hit with the loss after being called up from Triple-A Columbus for the start. Chen went four innings and gave up 10 hits and six runs.
David Murphy pinch hit for Roberto Perez in the seventh inning for the Indians and drilled a two-run homer to cut Cleveland's deficit to 7-4. That would be the last time any player crossed home plate.
The Twins now own a 4-1 advantage over the Indians this season.