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(Sports Network) - Two of the American League's second-place teams, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Cleveland Indians, will have positioning in mind tonight when they open a three-game series at Progressive Field.
The Indians, perhaps baseball's most unlikely success story so far in 2011, have hit the skids of late, dropping four straight games to put themselves two games behind the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.
On Sunday in Cleveland, the Chicago White Sox took advantage of shaky Indians defense to score three unearned runs and claim a 4-2 win in the finale of a rain-shortened series.
The White Sox are third in the Central, 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland.
Ezequiel Carrera made an error in the sixth inning and the White Sox plated another run in the seventh as a result of two Indians miscues.
Travis Hafner and Carrera came up with RBI singles for the Indians.
Justin Masterson (8-7) went seven innings in defeat, giving up four runs -- one earned -- on four hits while fanning six and walking one.
Perennial Cy Young Award prospect Dan Haren starts for the Angels and will try to regain the form that saw him with four straight starts between June 24 and July 10.
He's 0-1 in two outings since the streak ended, including a 5-3 loss at Oakland and a no-decision in the Angels' 9-8 win over Texas.
In those games, he's allowed 19 hits and 11 runs in 10 2/3 innings. In the four wins, he gave up just 19 hits and five runs in 31 innings.
Haren is 3-2 lifetime against Cleveland with a 3.90 earned run average.
For the Indians, Dominican-born righty Fausto Carmona can make it two straight since he ended his own tailspin.
The 27-year-old allowed two runs on seven hits in six innings of a 6-3 win at Minnesota on July 18, his first victory since June 15 and just his second in 10 starts since mid-May.
The Indians have lost seven of those 10 starts and 11 of his 19 overall outings in 2011.
Carmona, a 13-game winner last season and a 19-game winner in 2007, is winless in nine career meetings with the Angels -- six starts -- though he's posted a stingy 1.79 ERA across 45 1/3 innings.
The Angels have won four of six versus the Indians this year, with each of those previous meetings taking place in Anaheim.