Indians Vs. White Sox: Cleveland Can Pad AL Central Lead

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 25: Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez #30 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on April 25, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Cleveland is in first place in the AL Central. And while it's still early -- Cleveland was first last year, as well -- the Indians could solidify their position as contenders in the division this week when they play the second-place White Sox.

It's not 2011 again, but it's still good enough for first place.

Last season the Cleveland Indians were 13-7 after 20 games and were sitting atop the AL Central.

The Indians, 11-9, are again first place in the AL Central, and they can extend their lead over the second-place Chicago White Sox in this week's three-game series in Chicago.

The Sox, 11-11, are tied with the Detroit Tigers for second.

Ubaldo Jimenez will start Tuesday's series opener for the Tribe. On the season Jimenez, 2-1, has 14 walks and 13 strikeouts to go with a 4.50 ERA. But he may need to do better than that if the Cleveland's bats stay asleep: The Indians have 16 runs over their last six games.

The Sox, meanwhile, will start Chris Sale, who is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA. In Sale's only meeting with the Indians this season back on April 9, he pitched 6.2 innings and gave up just one earned run. The third-year player and first-year starter has 26 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Tuesday's game starts at 8:10 ET.

For more on the Cleveland Indians, check out Let's Go Tribe. You can also head over to SB Nation's main MLB hub at Baseball Nation.

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