CLEVELAND — Another day Patric Hornqvist Jersey , another roster move involving the Cleveland Indians‘ bullpen. Prior to their 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, the Indians placed reliever Evan Marshall on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
To replace Marshall on the roster, the Indians selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from Triple-A Columbus.
Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field, the Indians and White Sox will play the final game of their three-game series.
Kontos, 33, started this season with Pittsburgh, for whom he made 21 relief appearances this year, going 2-3 with a 5.03 ERA and one save. He was designated for assignment on May 25 and was signed as a free agent by the Indians on May 25. In six appearances with Triple-A Columbus, Kontos pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing seven hits, with six strikeouts and no walks.
When he gets into a game Kontos will become the 17th different relief pitcher used by the Indians this season.
“With the new guys, we want to get them settled, and I want to familiarize myself with them as quickly as I can,” said Indians manager Terry Francona, who admits that it’s a challenge for newly-acquired pitchers to be comfortable.
Many of the relievers the Indians have used were released by other teams.
Francona says he is mindful of the pressure the new relievers face when they join the team.
“When guys are pitching for their baseball life, it’s harder on them,” Francona said. “When (closer) Cody Allen has a bad inning, he knows he’s going to be here the next day. The other guys, when they have a bad inning they know they might get sent down or designated for assignment. That makes it hard.”
Fortunately for Francona and those relievers, the Indians’ starting pitcher Wednesday usually makes it an easy day for the bullpen. Reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (10-3, 2.24 ERA) will be on the mound for Cleveland.
Kluber Phil Kessel Jersey , however, is coming off his worst start of the season in his last outing, a 6-3 loss to Minnesota on Friday. Kluber lasted just five innings, giving up four runs on four hits, with three strikeouts and one walk.
That one walk was significant because it snapped a streak of six starts, 46 1/3 innings and 169 consecutive batters faced by Kluber without a walk. The four runs allowed by Kluber snapped his streak of 14 consecutive quality starts to begin the season, the longest such streak by an Indians pitcher in 100 years.
Kluber’s last start against the White Sox came on May 30 of this year, a 9-1 Cleveland victory in which Kluber got the win by pitching six scoreless innings on three hits, with 10 strikeouts and no walks. In 21 career appearances against the White Sox Kluber is 10-4 with a 3.05 ERA.
Kluber’s mound opponent on Wednesday was his mound opponent in that May 30 game between the two teams — Reynaldo Lopez (2-4, 3.26).
In that loss to Kluber, Lopez pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
Lopez’s last start was a 4-3 White Sox loss to Detroit on Friday. Lopez, who did not figure in the decision, pitched six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and no walks. In two career starts against Cleveland, Lopez is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA.
The Indians come into Wednesday’s game having won three in a row while the White Sox have lost six in a row.
Asked how the Atlanta Braves have surprised many experts by establishing a three-game lead in the National League East at the season’s halfway point, catcher Kurt Suzuki didn’t hesitate.
“This team has no fear,” he said Saturday night after an 11-4 victory in St. Louis. “We have a lot of young guys but we also have some veterans. We approach every game the same way.”
Atlanta’s consistency has been too much for the Cardinals this weekend. Behind solid starting pitching and an explosive offense, the Braves (47-34) have outscored St. Louis 16-5 in winning the series’ first two games. They go for a sweep on Sunday at Busch Stadium.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 2.14 ERA) will try to match what Julio Teheran and Max Fried have done in the series. Neither allowed a run in a combined 12 2/3 innings, with Fried enjoying the best outing of his short big league career Saturday night.
The former first-round pick of the San Diego Padres allowed only four hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings Sidney Crosby Jersey , recording 11 strikeouts against the whiff-prone Cardinals. The hard-throwing Foltynewicz made his return from the 10-day disabled list Monday night, allowing one hit and one run in five innings while walking four and fanning four against Cincinnati in a no-decision.
“The arm was just kind of heavy,” he said to mlb.com. “You can’t really practice these situations when you’re out there with your adrenaline running, but just a couple of times I just couldn’t really extend too far. But adrenaline pushed me through.”
Foltynewicz has faced St. Louis three times in his career, going 1-2 with a 9.95 ERA and yielding a whopping 22 hits over 12 2/3 innings.
In an attempt to avoid a fourth straight loss, the Cardinals (42-39) will turn to former Atlanta prospect John Gant (2-2, 3.48). Gant, replacing the disabled Michael Wacha in the rotation, pitched the best game of his career Monday night, limiting Cleveland to an infield single by Yan Gomes over seven innings in a 5-0 victory.
Gant walked five and fanned four, but his off-speed pitches kept the Indians off-balance all game and enabled him to post his first win as a starter.
“We’re lucky the third base bag got in the way of Gomes’ (grounder) or we wouldn’t have had anything,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said to mlb.com of Gant’s performance.
Before plating four runs in the ninth inning Saturday night, St. Louis managed two runs in its previous 26 innings. Its offense has been primarily singles and homers, as it’s on pace for the fewest doubles and triples in the majors.
Help may be on the way when the Cardinals start a nine-game road trip Monday night against Arizona. Shortstop Paul DeJong may be activated off the disabled list after a weekend rehab stint for Triple-A Memphis.
That could result in the move of first baseman Jose Martinez, who’s on a 100-RBI pace but has been poor afield, to his natural outfield position. In fact, Martinez played the last three innings Saturday night in right field.
“Jose Martinez has earned a spot in the lineup every day, so we have to figure out a spot to play him,” general manager Michael Girsch said to mlb.com.