(Sports Network) - If the Chicago White Sox are planning on making a run in the American League Central they are going to need the Cleveland Indians to come back down to Earth. Tonight the White Sox get to take matters into their own hands when they play the first of a brief two-game set against the upstart Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.
Jake Peavy goes tonight for the White Sox in his second start of the year after missing 10 months with a torn lat muscle. The former National League Cy Young Award winner was shaky at times in his initial outing against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings of a no-decision.
The right-hander is just 1-3 lifetime against the Indians with a 5.00 ERA in six starts.
Brent Morel hit a three-run home run while Jesse Crain (1-1) got the win for throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the White Sox, who have won four of six and seven of 10. John Danks went 6 1/3 innings in the start and gave up three runs -- two earned -- on four hits with six walks and two strikeouts.
Sergio Santos threw a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Cleveland opened its year by losing two straight to the White Sox, while getting outscored 23-13. It's a been a different story since, as the Indians own the league's best record at 26-13 and sit atop the American League Central standings by five games.
The Indians won their third straight game on Tuesday, as Travis Hafner hit a three-run double to pace Cleveland past Kansas City, 7-3.
Carlos Carrasco (2-2) earned the win, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks. He also struck out five in 5 1/3 innings as the Indians won for the fourth time in their last six games.
"I think it's always important whenever you have a chance to score early and give your starter a little room for error. I think that 3-spot in the first was important, then Carlos (Carrasco) went out and really threw a good game tonight," said Hafner.
Cleveland will hand the ball tonight to righty Justin Masterson, who is coming off the worst outing of his season. Masterson suffered his first loss of the season on Thursday against Tampa Bay, who hit him for five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings, dropping him to 5-1, while raising his earned run average to 2.73.
Masterson, who had allowed just 11 earned runs through his first seven starts, beat the White Sox earlier in the year and is 2-2 lifetime against them with a 2.25 ERA in 11 games, seven of which have been starts.