The Indians find a way to keep winning even as players keep going to the DL. With Alex White now out of action with an injured finger on his pitching hand, that makes three Clevelanders lost in the last week, with White joining Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner.
The Tribe has recalled RHP Josh Judy from Columbus to temporarily shore up the pen until the expected return of Mitch Talbot in time for Talbot to start against the Red Sox on Wednesday, which would be perfect timing to take what would have been White’s turn in the rotation.
On Sunday the Indians go for a sweep over the Reds with Carlos Carrasco taking the hill against Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez. Carraco won his last start, winning in Kansas City on Tuesday to even his record at 2-2, a victory which lowered Carrasco’s ERA to 5.03.
In the Tuesday win, Carrasco went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, walking two and fanning five.
Sunday’s 1:05 start will be Carrasco’s first-ever inter-league game, so he has obviously never faced Cincinnati.
Volquez (3-1, 5.59 ERA) will be making his third career start against Cleveland. In his two previous starts, Volquez is 1-1 with a high 9.39 ERA in only 7.2 innings.
In his last start for the Reds, Volquez went six innings and surrendered three runs but was not involved in the decision in a Cincinnati win over the Cubs.
The Tribe has opened up a seven-game lead over the Royals and the Tigers, which is good news when players are on the mend. A little cushion is nice, but a seven-game cushion…well, that is really nice.
Tomorrow the Boston Red Sox come to town for the first of three games as the Indians return to play against the American League until late June, while the Reds, losers of four in a row, will move on to Philadelphia. It doesn’t get easier for Cincinnati, and Cleveland would love to send the Reds to Philly on a down-note.