The Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays play the final contest of a three-game series Wednesday night with both teams aiming for a series win at the Rogers Centre
Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays
Cleveland tallied a 6-3 win Tuesday and the club hopes to finish its six-game road trip with a .500 record with a victory tonight. The Indians received an offensive boost from outfielder Grady Sizemore, who went 2 for 4 with two RBIs in the second game of the series, after going 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts in his first three games since coming off the disabled list last week. “When you’re struggling for four or five games, you want to stop it there,” Sizemore stated. “You don’t want it to go for 10 or 15.” The club has stayed atop the AL Central standings for the past 55 days due to well-timed hitting, strong pitching and solid defense. Despite its recent struggles, Cleveland is still the American League’s best team at 32-20.
Indians starting pitcher Josh Tomlin is 6-2 with a 2.74 ERA in 10 starts this season and is coming off a defeat last time out. The right-hander allowed four runs and 10 hits over six innings of work in a 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay. He has posted an even 2-2 record and 2.94 ERA in five road starts, as opponents are hitting just .210 against him. Tomlin settled for a no-decision in his only career start against the Blue Jays on July 31, 2010, in Toronto. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and two walks in the Indians’ 2-1 victory.
Toronto has dropped seven of its last nine contests to Cleveland dating back to last season and will be looking for its first series win at home versus tonight’s opponent since 2007. Outfielder Jose Bautista certainly isn’t to blame for the club’s lack of success against the top team in the American League, hitting .455 his last six games versus Cleveland. The offense entered Tuesday night riding its best overall production of the season, scoring 33 runs over its past three games. The Blue Jays finished May with a 15-13 record. In 31 night games this season, Toronto has registered a dominating 20-12 record.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Kyle Drabek is an even 3-3 with a 4.16 ERA in 11 starts this season and has issued 42 walks in 62 2/3 innings. “I want to throw strikes, it’s just I get a little amped up most of the time with different pitches, where I want to throw it,” Drabek stated. “Sometimes I get too fine and I’m thinking more outer half and it becomes a ball and that’s what I’m trying to stop.” The right-hander has compiled a 1-1 mark and 4.20 ERA in five home starts, including a no-decision effort last time out against the White Sox. He lasted 6 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on three hits in a 4-2 Blue Jays’ victory.
Bettors will likely back the Indians due to their 9-3 record in Tomlin’s last 12 starts, while the Blue Jays are 4-9 in the last 13 meetings in Toronto