Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians hope Windy City blows slumps away

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Early gauntlet through AL Central continues for Cleveland Indians tonight in Chicago

While it’s still far too early to panic, the Cleveland Indians sit at the bottom of the division after two weeks of regular season play. Alongside tonight’s opponent, the Chicago White Sox, the Tribe is 4-7 and has been atrocious at the plate.

Cleveland was embarrassed by a less-talented Minnesota Twins team this weekend, ending the weekend on the wrong end of a 7-2 blowout. The Tribe was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position in that contest and enters Monday with a 5-for-33 mark in similar situations over the last five games, including two at home against the White Sox.

Fortunately for the Indians, Chicago has struggled offensively this season as well. Since rattling off three consecutive wins early last week, the Sox have dropped three of four, scoring no more than two runs in each of their three losses.

A sputtering ChiSox offense could be exactly what the doctor ordered for red-hot starting pitcher Trevor Bauer. Chicago is hitting just .189 in their previous six meetings with the Tribe, going 1-5 over that stretch while averaging less than two runs per game. 

Bauer, who opened his season with nine consecutive no-hit innings, has posted back-to-back wins for the first time in his young career. He enters Monday with a 1.50 ERA, having fanned 19 batters in 12 innings of work. The Tribe right-hander is coming off a six-inning, two-run performance in Wednesday’s 4-2 victory at home against the White Sox. He has made just one start at U.S. Cellular Field in his career, lasting a career-worst 0.2 innings and allowing five runs back in June 2013.

For Chicago, lefty John Danks takes the mound against the Tribe for a second consecutive outing. Danks is 5-12 with a 5.19 ERA, including a 1-7 mark and 6.42 ERA at home, in his career against the Indians. He surrendered four runs in 4.2 innings against the Tribe on Wednesday’s first matchup against Bauer and the Indians.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Ryan Raburn gets the start at designated hitter with the left-handed Danks on the bump. Rayburn is 15-for-44 (.341) in his career against Danks, including three home runs and six doubles.

News & Notes:

-The Sox called up left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodon, who is the organization’s top prospect, in preparation for this series against the Tribe. Given the Indians’ inability to hit southpaws this season — or any season over the last decade, really — one can expect Rodon to make his debut out of the bullpen at some point this series.

Carlos Carrasco will start on Tuesday instead of his making his originally-scheduled start today. He has been dealing with a sore jaw since being hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Chicago’s Melky Cabrera last week.

According to Tribe Insider, super utility man Zach Walter will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday. Walters has been sidelined since mid-March with an oblique strain similar to the one that impacted Jason Kipnis all last season.

Carlos Santana collected his 100th career home run with a meaningless blast against the Twins yesterday afternoon. Here’s the historical blast:

Next: Chicago White Sox opposition research

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