The Indians are in the midst of facing five outstanding pitchers in five consecutive games. After a three-game series against Boston in which they faced, in order, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, and Jon Lester, the Indians opened a three-game series in Tampa Bay Friday night in which they will face, in the first two games, David Price and James Shields.
The Indians lost two of three to Boston, and they lost 5-0 Friday night to Price and the Rays. Manager Manny Acta shook up his starting lineup, hoping to have better luck against Price than the Indians did 16 days ago when Price pitched eight dominating innings in an 8-2 Indians loss.
Friday night Acta made numerous changes in the lineup, starting with the benching of No. 3 hitter Shin-Soo Choo, a left-handed hitter who in his career versus Price is 2-for-10 with four strikeouts. Replacing Choo in the third spot in the order was Asdrubal Cabrera, who was moved down one notch from his customary spot as the No.2 hitter.
Carlos Santana, for the first time this season, did not hit fourth. He was moved to the seventh spot in the order. The move of Santana seemed to work initially, as he doubled in his first at bat, snapping his personal 0-for-19 hitless streak.
Grady Sizemore was activated off the disabled list, but instead of hitting in his usual leadoff spot, Sizemore hit sixth. Acta said Sizemore will hit down in the order until he gets his timing back, having missed the last two weeks while on the disabled list. Sizemore also did not play center field. He was the designated hitter. Acta said Sizemore will not play in the field in this series because Tropicana Field has artificial turf, and Sizemore is just getting over a bruised knee.
The new lineup didn't work Friday, and the Indians were again dominated by Price. Acta said Choo will be back in the lineup Saturday, which means Asdrubal Cabrera will go back to the No. 2 spot in the order, and Orlando Cabrera, who hit second on Friday, will return to the sixth or seventh spot in the lineup Saturday.
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