The Indians really could use a sweep this weekend against the Kansas City Royals.
Not just for the obvious reason that a sweep is...well...a sweep, but because next week comes a brutal seven-game trip to Boston and Texas.
Any wins at this stage of the season are big wins, but if the Tribe cannot go to Boston at 55-50, there is a good chance they could come back from Texas below .500.
But anyhow, let's focus on the series at hand.
Carlos Carrasco will look to end a personal four-game losing streak in the series opener on Friday night. Carrasco (8-8, 4.25 ERA) has not one in exactly a month, since defeating the Diamondbacks in Arizona on June 29.
Since then Carrasco is 0-4 and has given up 17 runs in 20.1 innings. In his last start, Carlos lost to the White Sox, surrendering three runs in 6.1 innings in a 3-0 Chicago win.
The good news is that Carrasco has won twice against the Royals in 2011, both times by a 7-3 count. In 11.2 innings Carrasco has allowed Kansas City five runs on 12 hits to run his career mark against the Royals to 2-1 with a 4.56 ERA in four starts.
Rookie Danny Duffy will get the start for the Royals. Duffy is 2-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 12 starts, and will be making his first career appearance against the Indians.
The Royals have won six of their last 10, but trail Detroit by 11 games in the AL Central. Kansas City trails fourth-place Minnesota by five games, so it is safe to say that time is running out for the team from western Missouri.
The Indians are 7-2 against Kansas City in 2011.
This series will continue on Saturday at 7:05 when Felipe Paulino takes on Justin Masterson, and will wrap up on Sunday at 1:05 with Kyle Davies going against Fausto Carmona.