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Indians Vs. White Sox: Cleveland Aims To Maintain 1st Place In Central Division

Cleveland infielder Jason Kipnis is batting .300 with 5 HR and 6 SB through 26 games this season.

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 28: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Cleveland Indians strikes out to end the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Progressive Field on April 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 28: Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Cleveland Indians strikes out to end the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Progressive Field on April 28, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians are off to an impressive 15-11 start to open the year, but still need to maintain their strong play to hold onto first place with a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox opening on Monday afternoon.

The Indians took care of a dangerous Texas Rangers squad on Sunday to win the three-game set, and will enter Monday's series with a good deal of confidence at the plate. Much of that confidence will come directly from diminutive infielder Jason Kipnis, who hit his fifth home run of the season in the series finale with Texas and furthered his breakout season. Kipnis has also chipped in six steals this year to go with his .300 average, and leads all Cleveland players with 30 hits.

Looking to get his team in the win column for the second straight game, pitcher Josh Tomlin will get the ball for Cleveland, while no-hit phenom Philip Humber will take the mound for the White Sox. The two clubs are separated by a mere three games in the standings, and it's clear that this series has the potential to drastically alter the Central race in the short-term.

For more on the Indians, head over to Let's Go Tribe. For more on the White Sox, check out South Side Sox. And for more MLB news and analysis, be sure to check out Baseball Nation.

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