Desperate to win a pivotal three-game series with Texas in Sunday's finale, Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta has opted to play the odds, and will send a 9-lefty lineup to the plate against Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish.
Darvish has been knocked around to the tune of a .263 average by lefties this season, despite holding right-handed batters to just .196. With a miniscule 0.98 ERA over his last four starts making his decision a tad easier, Acta is hoping to stack his lineup to make things as tough as possible for the first-year Japanese star.
Opposing Darvish is Cleveland pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who enters on a skid with 14 walks over his last three starts. Jimenez remains one of the most pivotal pieces of the Indians pitching staff going forward, but still needs to work on his control to inspire confidence that he truly deserves a top spot in the rotation.
Here are the starting lineups for Sunday's game:
Cleveland -- 1. Johnny Damon lf; 2. Jason Kipnis 2b; 3. Asdrubal Cabrera ss; 4. Travis Hafner dh; 5. Carlos Santana c; 6. Shin-Soo Choo rf; 7. Michael Brantley cf; 8. Casey Kotchman 1b; 9. Jack Hannahan 3b; Ubaldo Jimenez rhp.
Texas --1. Ian Kinsler 2b; 2. Elvis Andrus ss; 3. Josh Hamilton cf; 4. Michael Young 1b; 5. David Murphy lf; 6. Nelson Cruz rf; 7. Mitch Moreland dh; 8. Yorvit Torrealba c; 9. Alberto Gonzalez 3b; Yu Darvish rhp.