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5
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Minnesota1 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 582
Cleveland0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 361
3
  W: Z. Littell (2-0)   L: O. Pérez (2-2)   S: T. Rogers (13)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, July 12, 2019
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 30,857

Indians look to cut into Twins' division lead

According to STATS
According to STATS

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians

  1. The Twins have spent 95 days in first place in the AL Central this season, the second-most games any team has lead their division (Dodgers -- 100 days).
  2. Cleveland and Minnesota last played each other in a three-game series starting on June 4. Since the beginning of that series, Cleveland has shaved six games off Minnesota's AL Central lead, going from 11.5 games back to 5.5 games back.
  3. The Twins became the first team all-time with 10 players with 10+ home runs at the All-Star break -- no other team has had more than eight. As a team, Minnesota's 166 home runs this season are the most all-time by any team prior to the All-Star break.
  4. Roberto Perez ranks third among primary catchers this season with a .527 slugging percentage, trailing Willson Contreras (.556) and Gary Sanchez (.556; min. 200 PA). Perez has averaged a home run every 12.69 at-bats this season, after having a 38.95 AB/HR ratio over his first five MLB seasons.
  5. Max Kepler (21) and Eddie Rosario (20) became the first pair of Twins teammates with 20+ home runs at the All-Star break in the same year since 1964, when Harmon Killebrew (30) and Bob Allison (21) did so.
  6. Mike Clevinger has pitched around injuries this season, making five starts and striking out 40 batters in 24.1 innings (14.79 SO/9 IP). In 18 career starts against Cleveland, Kyle Gibson is 3-9 with a 5.46 ERA. Gibson has lost each of his last three outings against Cleveland, though he received just two combined runs of support over those starts.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/12/2019 thru 7/14/2019

The Cleveland Indians have won 21 of their last 29 contests to shave six games off their sizable deficit in the American League Central and keep the heat on the first-place Minnesota Twins.

The Indians vie to turn up the temperature even more on Friday when they carry a season-high six-game winning streak into the opener of their three-game series versus the visiting Twins.

Cleveland began its recent torrid stretch by taking two of three from Minnesota at Progressive Field on June 4-6.

All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor went 5-for-11 with three homers, four RBIs and five runs scored in that series.

Lindor carries a seven-game hitting streak into Friday's series opener versus expected starter Kyle Gibson, against whom he is 13-for-34 in his career.

"There's no hate," the 25-year-old Lindor said of the rivalry with the Twins. "We're a brotherhood, but at the end of the day, you like to beat your brother."

Gibson, who served in the opener's role versus Texas on Sunday, will receive his first look at Cleveland this season after posting a 3-9 mark with a 5.46 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in his 18 previous starts. The 31-year-old has struggled mightily against Jason Kipnis (14-for-33, 11 walks) and Jose Ramirez (10-for-30).

Although Gibson likely wishes to have recorded better numbers against the Indians in his career, he has no qualms with where the Twins sit entering the second half of the season.

"I think if you asked us April 1 if we had a 5 1/2-game lead in the division at the All-Star break, everyone would be pretty happy," Gibson said. "... So perspective is a big thing in trying not to hang on every loss, hang on every win and trying to remain consistent."

All-Star shortstop Jorge Polanco was quick to stress just the magnitude of his team's first series in the second half.

"This series is very important," Polanco said, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We know how important it is to win the games against the Indians. As we go into those games, it will be the key to our hopes for the rest of the season."

Minnesota hasn't been shy about flexing its muscle, with its 166 homers serving as a majors-best for a team prior to the All-Star break.

Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-2, 4.44 ERA) will have the responsibility of keeping the Twins in the park on Friday.

Clevinger recorded his third sterling start of the season in his last outing, scattering four hits and striking out nine without walking a batter in six innings during a 4-0 win at Kansas City on July 3.

The 28-year-old owns a 2-2 record with a 3.05 ERA in 10 appearances (seven starts) versus Minnesota. He has flustered Miguel Sano (3-for-14, seven strikeouts) and Max Kepler (2-for-17).

Byron Buxton, who is just 1-for-7 with two strikeouts against Clevinger, has four hits, four RBIs and two runs scored in his last three games. That spurt, however, followed a dismal 1-for-21 stretch.

Buxton went 4-for-10 with three doubles and two RBIs as Minnesota won two of three against Cleveland from March 28-31. He went 1-for-7 in the more recent series last month, although the one hit was a three-run homer in Minnesota's 9-7 loss on June 5.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 11, 2019

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