The Cleveland Indians are looking to match their longest winning streak from last season, and facing the slumping Chicago White Sox may be enough.
The Indians look to capitalize on another meeting with the White Sox as they try for a fourth straight victory Wednesday in the finale of a rain-shortened two-game series at U.S. Cellular Field.
Cleveland (8-10) went 68-94 last year, finishing ahead of only 66-96 Minnesota in the AL. A four-game winning streak was all the Indians could manage as a season high, and they reached that mark three times, most recently June 18-22.
They have a chance to equal that streak following a five-game slide.
Before Tuesday's matchup was postponed nearly four hours before the scheduled first pitch because of rain, Asdrubal Cabrera came through in the clutch in Monday's opener. He hit a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning to provide the difference in a 3-2 win, the Indians' third in four meetings with Chicago this season.
"I love those situations," said Cabrera, who sat out Sunday's 5-4 win over Houston after hurting his left wrist falling down the stairs of the dugout Saturday.
The shortstop is batting .156 - 120 points lower than his career average.
"Maybe this is the start hopefully of him getting hot," manager Terry Francona said, "because he's going to get really hot at some point."
Cabrera is 8 for 22 with three doubles and six RBIs over his past seven games at U.S. Cellular Field.
The White Sox (7-12), losers of 10 of 13, have scored seven runs while batting .161 - including 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position - during a four-game slide.
They've also committed four errors in that stretch. Reliever Matt Thornton accounted for one Monday, when he wildly threw to second in an attempt to pick off Drew Stubbs , only to have him move to third before Cabrera's timely hit.
"You just keep shooting yourself in the foot," manager Robin Ventura said. "And until we clean it up, we're going to lose games. It's just that simple. It's not hard to figure out."
Chicago may not need much production at the plate with Ventura scheduled to turn to Jose Quintana (1-0, 2.55 ERA), who is trying to continue an impressive stretch with another dominant outing against the Indians.
The left-hander has tossed 13 2-3 scoreless innings over his last two starts, including last Wednesday's 7-0 win at Toronto. He scattered five hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings, five days after being let down by the offense in a 1-0 loss at Cleveland.
Quintana held the Indians to one hit while striking out seven in seven innings, but he was on the opposite end of Justin Masterson 's five-hitter.
Another meeting with the Indians may keep Quintana rolling since he's 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four matchups - two starts.
The Indians will counter with Zach McAllister (1-2, 3.12) as he tries to continue his success against the White Sox.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in four starts against them, winning 9-4 at home April 13. He yielded three runs - one earned - and five hits before leaving with one out in the seventh.
McAllister then gave up three runs and three walks while throwing 112 pitches in five innings of a 6-3 loss to Boston on Thursday.
Dunn was hitless in four at-bats Monday, and is 1 for 36 with a solo homer and 16 strikeouts in his last 10 games.
|Alejandro De Aza||10||.300||3||0||0||1||1||.364||.764||.400|
|April 20, 2013||Asdrubal Cabrera||Day-to-Day||Left game - left wrist contusion|
|April 20, 2013||Brett Myers||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
|April 16, 2013||Jason Kipnis||Day-to-Day||Sore elbow|
|April 15, 2013||Michael Bourn||15-Day DL||Right hand laceration|
|April 14, 2013||Michael Bourn||Day-to-Day||Left game - right hand laceration|
|April 09, 2013||Lou Marson||15-Day DL||Cervical neck strain|
|Chicago White Sox|
|April 22, 2013||Hector Gimenez||Day-to-Day||Left shin|
|April 19, 2013||Dayan Viciedo||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|April 10, 2013||Gordon Beckham||15-Day DL||Fractured hamate bone, left wrist|
|April 10, 2013||Angel Sanchez||15-Day DL||Lower back strain|
|April 09, 2013||Gordon Beckham||Day-to-Day||Left game - nerve irritation, left wrist|
|March 22, 2013||Leyson Septimo||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
CHICAGO (AP) -- A year ago Jose Quintana was just trying to hang on to a spot in Chicago's rotation.
Now his position looks pretty secure, especially after helping the White Sox stop a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
"He's been pitching great," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Maturity-wise, he's just getting strong as far as the makeup of his belief that he's a big leaguer. Last year he was just trying to survive and it kind of felt game-to-game for a while."
Alex Rios hit a two-run homer, and Jeff Keppinger had two hits and drove in a run for the White Sox, who earned a split of the rain-shortened series. Quintana (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits in five-plus innings and Addison Reed worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.
Rios connected in the fifth, hitting a two-out drive to left on an 0-2 pitch from Zach McAllister . Rios' team-high sixth homer made it 3-0.
"I'm happy about the victory, that's the most important thing. We needed to get that win in there and it's a start," Quintana said through a translator. "I feel like I'm learning still but I feel like I'm a big part of this and a big part of this. I just have to keep making the necessary adjustments necessary."
McAllister (1-3) walked five and allowed five hits in 5 2-3 innings. Four relievers then combined for 2 1-3 innings of hitless ball, giving the Indians a chance to rally.
"He had to dodge some traffic, especially early, Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But because of the use of his fastball, he keeps guys off the scoreboard. And they almost left with one run, he got ahead of Rios and fastball came across the wrong part of the plate - even though it was elevated - and he ran into it for two runs, two big runs. He kept competing and he kept them off the board."
Cleveland's first three batters of the sixth got on base, with Jason Kipnis singling in Drew Stubbs . Nate Jones then replaced Quintana and Mark Reynolds hit a sacrifice fly to cut Chicago's lead to 3-2.
Kipnis stole second and third, but Jones struck out Nick Swisher and got Ryan Raburn to fly out to end the inning.
The Indians rallied for a 3-2 victory in the series opener on Monday night. Tuesday game's was postponed by rain and has not been rescheduled.
Quintana "just made pitches when he had to," the Indians' Ryan Raburn said. "We battled and battled and put guys on and we just didn't get that one hit to put us over the top. He pitched well, we can't take nothing from him. We just didn't quite get the job done."
Chicago got off to a nice start when Alejandro De Aza had a leadoff walk in the first. He stole second and came home on Keppinger's single to center.
The White Sox threatened again in the third, putting runners on first and second with one out. But Keppinger popped out and Rios grounded out to end the inning.
Quintana breezed through three perfect innings, and then worked out of a jam in the fourth after the Indians loaded the bases.
Brantley reached on a leadoff single and moved to third on Reynolds' one-out double to the right-field corner. Raburn walked to load the bases, but Mike Aviles grounded into an inning-ending double play.
White Sox slugger Adam Dunn walked three times. He was 0 for 1 on the day and is 2 for 46 (.043) in his last 11 games.
Chicago opens a four-game series with visiting Tampa Bay on Thursday while Cleveland is off. The Indians kick off a four-game set Friday at Kansas City.
NOTES: The Indians activated C Lou Marson (neck strain) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned Yan Gomes to Triple-A Columbus. Marson got the start and went 0 for 3. C Gomes "needs to play," Francona said. "For his career this is a good thing for him to do right now,". ... Indians OF Michael Bourn is scheduled to be examined Thursday in Cleveland and could resume baseball activities with the removal of sutures from a right index finger laceration. He's scheduled to come off the disabled list on April 30.