Indians continue lineup shuffle vs. White Sox
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians will use another mix-and-match lineup Wednesday night when they host the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field in the second game of a three-game series.
With Cleveland having already clinched the American League Central Division title, manager Terry Francona is using the remaining games of the regular season to give some veteran players some days off while getting playing time for some of the September minor league callups.
"Regardless of who plays, we want to make sure we show up and play the right way," Francona said. "There's no magic pill you can swallow. You've still got to prepare and play the game the right way, so that you feel good about how you're playing."
Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who is fifth in the league with 99 RBIs and in the top 10 with 31 home runs, was given Tuesday night off, but he will be back in the lineup on Wednesday. So will third baseman Josh Donaldson, who on Wednesday will play in consecutive games for the first time since being acquired by the Indians in a trade with Toronto on Aug. 31.
The pitching matchup Wednesday will be a pair of right-handers -- Dylan Covey for the White Sox and Carlos Carrasco for the Indians.
Covey (5-13, 5.64 ERA) has had a tough year. He has won just one game since July 26. In 12 appearances since then (six starts), he is 1-8 with a 6.75 ERA. Covey's last start was a 6-3 loss to Kansas City on Sept. 11. He pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned) and six hits, with four strikeouts and three walks.
Covey's last start against Cleveland came on Aug. 12, a 9-7 loss in which he pitched just 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs and seven hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. In four starts against the Indians this year, Covey is 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA. For his career, Covey has made six appearances (four starts) against Cleveland and is 1-2 with a 6.14 ERA.
Carrasco (16-9, 3.43) ranks among the league leaders in wins and he's sixth in the AL with 206 strikeouts. His last start was a 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Sept. 12. He pitched seven innings, giving up three runs and six hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.
In his last start against the White Sox, on Aug. 12, Carrasco had one of his best starts of the season. In a 9-7 victory, he pitched seven scoreless innings on three hits, with nine strikeouts and no walks.
Carrasco has started two games against Chicago this year and the White Sox have yet to score off him. He has pitched 14 scoreless innings, allowing five hits, with 20 strikeouts and one walk, while holding Chicago's hitters to a .104 batting average. In 23 career appearances against the White Sox, all but one of them starts, Carrasco is 8-9 with a 4.04 ERA.
Carrasco won't have to worry about facing White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, who will miss the Cleveland series due to a right thigh infection. The White Sox, who lost the first game of the series 5-3 on Tuesday night, are 3-11 vs. Cleveland this year, 0-7 at Progressive Field.
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