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Indians Will Try To Fend Off White Sox In 3-Game Series That Begins Friday Evening In Cleveland

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(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians are in the thick of an AL Central race and will try to fend off the division-rival Chicago White Sox tonight in the opener of a three-game series from Progressive Field.

Cleveland is just a half-game behind Detroit in the AL Central, while the White Sox are five games off the pace and Minnesota sits six behind the Tigers.

The Indians have lost two in a row, four of six and seven of their last 11 games, including Wednesday's 7-5 loss to the Twins in the finale of a four- game series at Target Field. Lonnie Chisenhall homered and Orlando Cabrera drove in a run for the Indians, who split the series with the Twins. Tribe starter Josh Tomlin gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings of work and Tony Sipp was dealt the loss, permitting three runs in relief.

"It's always good to win four games of an eight-game stretch on the road," Tomlin said. "We would have like to take these last two games we played."

Carlos Carrasco gets the start for Cleveland on Friday and he's 8-7 with a 4.25 ERA in 18 outings this season. He has lost three straight and four of five starts, and is coming off Saturday's 6-5 loss at Baltimore. Carrasco allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings against the Orioles. He had won three straight and six of seven starts prior to his previous five trips to the hill.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox, who reached him for seven runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings of an 8-3 decision back on April 2 at Progressive Field.

Chicago has lost two straight, three of four and fell to 3-3 on a nine-game road trip following Wednesday's 2-1 loss in 11 innings to Kansas City in the finale of a three-game series from Kauffman Stadium.

John Danks returned from the disabled list to throw seven shutout innings in the no-decision, while Chris Sale pitched three innings of relief and allowed the go-ahead run to suffer the loss. Sergio Gordon threw a wild pitch, allowing Alex Gordon to score the winning run. Gordon was walked by Sale before coming around to score.

Carlos Quentin had a home run in the fifth inning for the White Sox. Juan Pierre had a hit to extend his streak to 12 games and is batting .373 over his past 20 contests.

"One day we're good. Three days, we're bad," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said among his profanity-laced postgame comments. "We have no energy in the dugout. A (expletive) approach at the plate. If we go to Cleveland the way we go there? Good luck."

Gavin Floyd will start for Guillen's club tonight and he's 7-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) this season. He was 0-4 in six starts before beating Detroit last Friday with 7 2/3 solid innings. He allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits. Floyd defeated Cleveland in an 8-2 win on May 19, when he fired seven innings of one-run ball.

The right-hander is 5-3 with a 4.88 ERA in nine career starts against the Indians.

Chicago has won four of five meetings with Cleveland this season and is 10-2 in the past 12 matchups between the two ballclubs

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.