Mitch Talbot will make his first appearance for the Indians since winning on April 11 in Anaheim when he toes the rubber on Wednesday afternoon at 12:05 seeking to give the Tribe a series win over the Boston Red Sox in the final game of a three-game series -- and of the homestand.
Talbot (1-0, 1.46 ERA) has pitched only 12.1 innings this year, including eight frames in that win over the Angels, but he will be facing the Red Sox for the second time. Talbot went 4.1 innings against Boston on April 6 but did not receive a decision in an 8-4 Tribe win. In that game Talbot gave up two runs on five hits, walking three but fanning seven.
For his career Talbot is 0-0 in three games vs. Boston, with a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 innings.
Boston will send Jon Lester to the mound today. Lester (6-1, 3.68 ERA) has been the beneficiary of some terrific offensive support to reach his six wins. Case in point — in his last start, Lester gave up five runs and 12 hits to the Cubs in only six innings of work on May 20, yet got the win at Fenway when the Sox exploded for 15 runs.
Lester did appear against Cleveland on April 7 and pitched brilliantly, giving up no runs and only three hits in seven innings, but got no decision to show for it in a game won by the Indians, 1-0.
For his career, Lester is 3-1 against the Tribe with a 3.93 ERA in 52.2 innings. Lester has 51 strikeouts in that span.
The Indians will be off on Thursday before heading out on the road for trips to Tampa Bay and to Toronto. In that series against the Rays, the first two opposing pitchers will be David Price and James Shields — both of whom have already beaten the Tribe this season.
A win today would not only be nice, but it would be important, so that the Indians do not head for Florida looking at having to beat either Price or Shields to avoid a four-game losing streak