Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians Look to Take the Series from Mariners

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Cleveland Indians Look to Take the Series

The Cleveland Indians look take the four game series from the Seattle Mariners this afternoon by winning game four and closing out what has been a rather solid month of May.  Taking the hill for the Indians is Danny Salazar who is making his ninth start of the year after failing to make the team out of spring training. He has been nothing short of spectacular since returning to the club going 5-1 with a 3.65 ERA. He’s also leading the team in strikeout percentage at 32.2% (yes, even higher than Ace Corey Kluber).

Lefty J.A. Happ will be on the hill for the Mariners. In his first year with the club, he’s enjoyed success going 3-1 with a 3.71 ERA. Like most pitchers, he’s especially enjoyed pitching at Safeco Field where he’s 2-1 with a mere 2.05 ERA.  The former Blue Jay looks to help the Mariners salvage a split in this four-game series and get the team back the .500 mark.

Offensively the Indians will look to keep up their recent success versus left-handed pitching.  Carlos Santana returns to the lineup after missing the first three games of the series due to the birth of his daughter. Jason Kipnis looks to close out his brilliant month of May and is just one hit away from 50 this month.  Catcher Yan Gomes will be behind the plate for back-to-back games for the first time since returning from the disabled list. Hopefully the more he plays the more he starts to hit as to this point the bat has been beyond disappointing to this point (.188 AVG, .286 OPS).

It took the Mariners until the 9th inning of the third game of the series to finally score a run that wasn’t via the home run.  They’ll look to take advantage of Salazar in this area as his one Achilles heel to this point has been the long-ball. He’s allowing nearly 1.5 homeruns per nine innings. Mariner’s hitters are only 1 for 7 against Salazar in their careers, that hit though was a homerun by Austin Jackson.

First pitch this afternoon is scheduled for 4:10 EST, and here are the starting lineups:

News & Notes:

  • With the Return of Carlos Santana from the paternity list, Jerry Sands was designated for assignment again. He had a key two-run home run in last night’s game. If he doesn’t clear waivers he has the right to refuse an assignment to Triple-A Columbus if he so chooses.
  • Corey Kluber finished the month of May with 60 strikeouts. His teammate Jason Kipnis sits at 49 hits. If he were to reach the 50 hit marks in May, Kluber and Kipnis would become just the second set of teammates to ever accomplish the feat in the same month. The only other time it’s been done was back in 1938 by the St. Louis Browns.
  • Nick Swisher is getting a rare off day versus a left-handed pitcher today. His numbers on the year may not look the prettiest but against lefties the switch hitter is batting .281/.351/.469 with a 130 wRC+.  Versus right-handed pitching though he’s batting a mere .191/.240/.277 with a 40 wRC+.
  • Today is former Tribe great Kenny Lofton’s 48th Lofton is the franchise leader in stolen bases and was one of the most beloved Indians of the 1990s.

Next: Reaction: Shaun Marcum's Solid Outing Leads Cleveland Indians to Win

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