Preview Cleveland at Minnesota
(SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Kluber goes after his seventh straight winning decision on Thursday when the Cleveland Indians try to complete a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Kluber was again on point Friday against Baltimore, as he surrendered just one run and struck out 10 batters over 7 2/3 innings. However, he did not get a decision in his team's 2-1 win.
Over his last eight starts, though, Kluber has posted a 6-0 mark with a 1.31 ERA. He's 13-6 on the season with a 2.41 ERA.
"I think it's just kind of getting on a roll and continuing to do what I've been doing the previous starts," Kluber said. "I'm not trying to go out there and do too much or change anything. I'm just kind of trying to stay the course."
Kluber has faced the Twins seven times and is 2-1 with a 4.82 ERA.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with righty Phil Hughes, who has won his last three starts. Hughes was terrific in a win over red-hot Kansas City on Saturday, as he held the Royals to a run and seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. He also struck out six without walking a batter and improved to 13-8 to go along with a 3.76 ERA.
"I feel pretty good right now," said Hughes, who has pitched to a 1.33 ERA over his last three starts. "I've been in a pretty good stretch."
Hughes is 3-1 in five starts versus the Indians with a 2.61 ERA.
Cleveland won for the fourth time in five games on Wednesday, as T.J. House combined with four other pitchers in a six-hit shutout in the Indians 5-0 triumph.
House (2-3) allowed four hits and three walks while striking out five over 5 1/3 innings. C.C. Lee, Scott Atchison, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Shaw polished off the shutout.
Mike Aviles went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two RBI while Zach Walters also hit a solo home run for the Indians, who have won six of their last eight and are 4 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot in the American League.
Ricky Nolasco (5-9) was touched for four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Twins, who have lost their past four games.
"I made a lot of good pitches," said Nolasco. "I would like to have a couple pitches back but overall I threw well."
Cleveland has won seven of its 12 matchups with the Twins this season.