Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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Preview: Indians at White Sox

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[August 26, 2014]  The Cleveland Indians are showing signs of life after wallowing in mediocrity for most of the season, perhaps making the slumping Chicago White Sox a perfect opponent to extend their recent success. The Indians, who travel to Chicago for the first of three games on Tuesday, have hovered around the break-even mark for most of the season. However, Cleveland (66-63) is three games over .500 – matching a season high – after taking two of three in Houston to improve to 13-8 in August.

The Indians sit 5 1/2 games behind American League Central-leading Kansas City and are 4 1/2 games out in the race for the second wild card after going 4-0-1 over their last five series, but must improve on their poor road record (27-38) if they hope to remain in the chase. The White Sox are 8-5 against Cleveland this season, but enter this contest on a season-worst six-game losing streak. Chicago is 6-15 this month – including a 4-11 mark so far during a stretch of 22 consecutive contests against teams above .500 – and has fallen 13 games off the pace in the AL Central.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, STO (Cleveland), CSN+ (Chicago)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians LH T.J. House (2-3, 3.80 ERA) vs. White Sox LH Jose Quintana (6-10, 3.25)

House improved to 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA in three August turns following Wednesday’s 5-0 victory over Minnesota. The former 16th-round selection in the 2008 draft, who is allowing hitters to bat .305 against him in eight road outings, permitted four hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings in his second scoreless effort of the month. House posted one of the finer performances in his only career start versus the White Sox on May 28, settling for a no-decision after yielding one run and fanning eight in 6 1/3 frames.

After recording quality starts in seven of eight outings, Quintana has yet to do so in four August turns – the last of which came in last Tuesday’s 5-1 loss versus Baltimore. The 25-year-old Colombian, whose offense has backed him with exactly one run in each of his last three outings, is 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA over that span. Quintana has enjoyed much more luck in nine all-time appearances (seven starts) against Cleveland, going 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA.

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1. Cleveland All-Star LF Michael Brantley is 3-for-30 over his last eight contests.

2. Chicago manager Robin Ventura told reporters over the weekend that CF Adam Eaton – out since Aug. 8 due to a strained right oblique – could possibly come off the disabled list for the opener.

3. The White Sox have scored two runs or fewer in each of the Quintana’s last seven losses.

PREDICTION: Indians 3, White Sox 2

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