The Minnesota Twins know a thing or two about belting home runs, as they have a major-league-high 111 long balls in just 59 games this season.
After erupting for four homers on Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians will look to flex their muscles once again at the expense of the visiting Twins on Wednesday in the second contest of the three-game set.
Francisco Lindor recorded his 10th career multi-homer performance, and Roberto Perez and Jake Bauers launched back-to-back blasts in the Indians’ 5-2 win on Tuesday.
Lindor, 25, is batting .412 (14-for-34) with eight RBIs and eight runs in his past nine games.
“He hit the ball the other day three times to the opposite field with authority, and I think that’s such a good sign,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Lindor, who started the season on the injured list. “He needed to get some at-bats, and now he’s starting to look like Frankie.”
Lindor, however, is hitting just .143 (1-for-7) in his career versus the Twins’ Wednesday starter, Martin Perez (7-2, 3.71 ERA).
Carlos Santana is batting a robust .636 (7-for-11, one homer, five RBIs) against Perez, while Jason Kipnis is hitting .375 (3-for-8, homer, four RBIs).
The Indians need to carry over the momentum of their offense from the series opener if they wish to cut into their 10 1/2-game deficit behind the first-place Twins.
“When you’re playing a team that’s ahead of you, you guarantee that if you beat them, they lose,” Francona said. “There’s a way to go about it. We understand where they are in the standings. We’re not completely crazy. But there’s a way to go about it. That’s trying to win the game.”
Perez is looking to rebound after allowing a season-high six runs on as many hits in 2 2/3 innings of a 14-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday.
The 28-year-old left-hander is 1-2 with a 9.13 ERA in six career appearances (four starts) versus Cleveland after permitting three runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 9-3 victory on March 31.
The Twins will look to ignite their offense after mustering just five hits in the series opener.
“We needed to get a big hit,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We didn’t get the big hit (Tuesday), but I don’t think the at-bats were poor in any fashion.”
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (4-6, 4.98 ERA) will take the mound looking to snap a three-start losing streak. The 32-year-old saw his ERA balloon to 7.13 over that stretch (17 2/3 innings) after yielding six runs for the second straight start, a 10-4 setback in Chicago against the White Sox on Thursday.
Carrasco fell to 7-10 with a 4.05 ERA in 24 career appearances (21 starts) after allowing six runs on 10 hits in a March 31 loss to Minnesota.
Nelson Cruz belted two-run homer off Carrasco in that contest and is hitting .360 (9-for-25) with three homers versus the hurler.
Jorge Polanco is batting .444 (8-for-18) against Carrasco, and Eddie Rosario, who launched his team-leading 18th homer on Tuesday, is hitting .296 (8-for-27) against him.
–Field Level Media
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