Pregame Notes: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians begin four-game set in Chicago


Game one matchup pits Cleveland Indians’ reigning Cy Young winner against dominate left-hander Chris Sale

The Cleveland Indians are coming off their only series victory in May and their first since the opener in Houston. Beginning a four-game set in Chicago, the Tribe looks to earn their first series victory outside the state of Texas against the division foe White Sox.

Chicago has won five straight on their way to breaking even at 17-17 on the season. They are 10-5 at U.S. Cellular Field and have won nine of their last 13 contests at home against the Tribe.

Looking to flip the script for the Tribe tonight is Corey Kluber, who is coming off an epic performance in his last start. The reigning Cy Young winner fanned 18 hitters in eight innings in a one-hit, 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Kluber is now 1-5 on the season with a 4.27 ERA. He made one start in April against the Sox, lasting six innings and allowing six earned runs on 13 hits.

Opposite Kluber is White Sox ace Chris Sale, who is also coming off the best outing of his young season. After surrendering 13 runs and 16 hits in his previous two starts, Sale fanned 11 Milwaukee Brewers hitters and allowed just two runs over eight innings in a win. Sale is 3-1 this season despite owning a 5.09 ERA.

If both pitchers are able to build upon their most recent efforts and carry that effectiveness into tonight’s matchup, this game has all the makings of a legitimate pitchers’ duel.

Here are the starting lineups:

Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley are the only two left-handed hitters in the lineup to face Sale.

—Update: 7:25 p.m. —

Carlos Santana was scratched from the lineup with back spasms. Taking his place is Brandon Moss, who makes three left-handed hitters in the lineup. Jose Ramirez will bat second in his absence.

—End update—

News & Notes:

-With a 1-for-3 effort in yesterday’s loss to Texas, Kipnis carries an 11-game hitting streak into Monday’s game against Sale. According to Christian Corona of, Kipnis tallied 19 hits in the seven games prior to Sunday, which was the most in franchise history over a seven-game span. He is hitting .508 this month and is on pace to become the third player every to hit .500 in May. Kipnis reached base three times yesterday for the eight consecutive game, giving him the longest such streak by a Cleveland player in at least 100 years.

-While so much has been made about Kipnis’s performance — and rightfully so — Brantley has gone somewhat overlooked. Brantley has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games with eight doubles, four home runs and 16 RBIs. He hasn’t had much success against Sale, however, hitting just 3-for-22 with 10 career strikeouts against the lefty.

-While a hard timetable has not yet been established, the Indians announced yesterday Yan Gomes and T.J. House will be taking their talents to Columbus to start the week.

-Utility man Mike Aviles will rejoin the team today after being placed on the medical emergency list to be with his 4-year-old daughter, Adriana, who is being treated for leukemia in Cleveland.

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