KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 01: Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians wipes his face after giving up a RBI triple to Lorenzo Cain of the Kansas City Royals in the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium on August 1, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Cleveland and Minnesota will face off for three games in a battle for third place in the AL Central.
Time is starting to run short for the Cleveland Indians. A disastrous road trip has left the team that was, for quite some time, atop the AL Central hanging in third place and dangerously close to fourth. Their next opponent, the Minnesota Twins, are only four games behind the Indians and have a great chance to make up some of that ground and launch themselves into the AL Central race proper as the two teams face off for a three game set starting Monday.
If the Indians want to do some damage though, they'll need to start by getting past Minnesota's most consistent pitcher in 2012. Cleveland will send out Zach McAllister (4-3, 3.42 ERA) to face off against Scott Diamond (9-5, 2.93 ERA) of the Twins.
Cleveland has lost nine games in a row now thanks to that awful stretch, while the Twins are coming off an impressive series win over the reeling Red Sox, where they took three of four to dash Boston's playoff hopes quite a bit. Cleveland will have to hope that their playoff hopes aren't similarly dashed at Progressive Field.
If they want to make a run for the AL Central title -- a race that is currently closing to be between only the Tigers and White Sox at the rate things are going -- they'll need to win and win now, especially against the teams below them in the division.
The game will be at Progressive Field at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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