Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians hit the road for three-game set in Minnesota


The Indians finally got back in the win column with a victory over Chicago on Wednesday. They’ll send staff ace Corey Kluber to the hill to start the series at Target Field.

The Cleveland Indians finally saw something go right for them at home on Wednesday.

After starting the season 0-4 in Progressive Field, the Tribe earned a much-need win against the Chicago White Sox to avoid hitting the road with a five game losing streak. Trevor Bauer improved to 2-0 on the season and Cody Allen, despite his struggles with command, earned his second save of the young season.

Cleveland will try for their first extended winning streak of the season as they kick off a nine-game road trip across the AL Central – starting with the Minnesota Twins and ending in a three-game showdown with the Detroit Tigers.

Fortunately, the right man is on the mound for the Indians as they try to start the trip off right against Mike Pelfrey and the Twins tonight. Corey Kluber (0-1, 2.63 ERA) has had limited success against the Twins in his career, going 4-2 with a 4.01 ERA in 10 starts. He limited the Twins to a .233 team batting average in 2014, but was tagged for huge performances from Kennys Vargas (.364) and Danny Santana (.364). Kluber was even worse inside Target Field last season, posting a 4.66 ERA while averaging under six innings pitched in his five starts.

Pelfrey, on the other hand, has pitched better against Cleveland than he has against any other team in the last three seasons. He’s limited the Tribe to a .171 team average, allowing just seven earned runs in four starts since 2012. Pelfrey is 1-1 over that span with a 2.86 ERA and 18 strikeouts. The 6-feet-7-inch Twins’ righty will be making his first start at home since May 1 after undergoing season-ending elbow surgery last May.

Here are the starting lineups:

News & Notes:

-The Indians offense is off to a slow start as the team has tallied just three wins in its first eight games. Fortunately, Cleveland aims to put together their first extended winning streak of the season against the lowly Minnesota Twins. The only team below Cleveland in the current AL Central standings, Minnesota is 2-1 at home on the season and just 3-6 overall.

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-Although Kluber is winless in his first two starts, the Tribe right-hander is no stranger to slow starts. He was 2-3 in his first six starts last April, posting a 4.14 ERA before finishing the season 18-9 with a 2.44 ERA – and a Cy Young. No need to panic as the Indians’ ace tries to find his groove in the early going.

– Pelfrey is the first right-handed pitcher the Tribe will face in a week, as the last righty they faced was Alfredo Simon in the home opener. The Indians are hitting .248/.288/.402 as a team against right-handed pitching this season compared to just .190/.273/.241 against southpaws.

Brandon Moss continues to struggle through the first two weeks of the season, tallying just two hits in his first 20 at-bats. Pelfrey might be the guy to get Moss on track, as the Tribe’s 31-year-old lefty is 5-for-10 against Pelfrey in his career.

Next: Are struggles against southpaws a long-term problem?