All eyes on sky as Indians-Blue Jays could be rained out again
Sports Xchange - Sunday 15th April, 2018
CLEVELAND -- After rain led to the postponement of Saturday's Cleveland Indians-Toronto Blue Jays matchup, the two teams are scheduled to play Sunday afternoon, but that game could be in jeopardy as well.
The weather forecast for Sunday is even worse than the weather was Saturday, so it's possible that two of the three games in the series could be postponed.
If Sunday's game is played, the pitching matchup will be the same as the scheduled matchup for Saturday's game. Corey Kluber (1-1, 1.57 ERA) will start for the Indians and Jaime Garcia (1-0, 3.18) for the Blue Jays.
Kluber is coming off an outstanding performance in his last start, a 2-0 win over Detroit on April 9 in which he pitched eight scoreless innings with two hits, 13 strikeouts and one walk.
Last year, Kluber started one game against Toronto, an 8-1 win on July 23. He pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits with 14 strikeouts and two walks. In six career starts against the Blue Jays, Kluber is 2-3 with a 4.46 ERA.
Garcia's last start was a 7-4 win over Texas on April 8. In that game, he pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and five hits with five strikeouts and two walks. In two career starts against Cleveland, both of them last year, he's 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA.
In the first game of the series Friday night, Toronto beat Cleveland 8-4. If Sunday's game is postponed, it would mean the Indians would have three consecutive off days. They have a scheduled off day Monday.
Sunday's game, if it is played, will be the last game of the Indians' season-opening homestand. After starting the season with a 2-4 trip to Seattle and Anaheim, the Indians came home and have gone 6-2, with the final game of the homestand still to come Sunday, weather permitting.
The Indians' improved play at home has been the result of terrific pitching and, in the last three games, improved offense. In going 6-2 on the homestand, the Indians have outscored their opponents 28-17.
One of the keys for the Indians' improvement at the plate is leadoff hitter Francisco Lindor. In the first six games of the season, all of them on the road, Lindor batted .192 (5-for-29) with no home runs or RBIs.
In the eight games of the homestand, Lindor has hit .281 (9-for-32) with one home run and five RBIs while batting out of the leadoff spot.
"He's played with a ton of enthusiasm and energy, and he knows we need that out of him," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Lindor.
The Blue Jays have gotten off to a good start. They are 9-5 and in second place behind American League East-leading Boston. The Blue Jays have a chance to win 10 of their first 15 games for the first time since 2009.
Toronto is bolstered by the long ball. Led by Aledmys Diaz, who has four, the Blue Jays have hit 20 home runs, which ranks second in the American League.
Jays closer Roberto Osuna is off to a solid start. Osuna, who posted the 100th career save on April 10, has converted his last nine save chances dating to last year
Osuna hasn't allowed a run in 12 1/3 innings in his last 12 appearances, in which he has also allowed just two baserunners.
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