Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Cleveland
When: 4:10 PM ET, Saturday, June 24, 2017
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

The Minnesota Twins tentatively ended their struggles with Cleveland and strive to defeat the host Indians for the second straight day on Saturday. Minnesota posted a 5-0 victory in the opener of the three-game set after losing four straight home games to the Indians last week and eight of the first 10 meetings.

Second baseman Brian Dozier went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and shortstop Jorge Polanco hit a two-run homer on Friday as the Twins survived without slugging third baseman Miguel Sano (sinus infection). "I knew he wasn't feeling particularly well," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor told reporters. "I think the airplane ride set him back a little bit (Thursday night). Between the headaches, it just makes sense to try to back him off and get him on some medication. Hopefully he feels better (Saturday)." The defeat was just the second in the past 10 games for Cleveland, which saw its American League Central lead dip to 1 1/2 games over the Twins. The Indians managed just four hits in the opener and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position after scoring five or more runs in each of their previous nine games.

TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), STO (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.56 ERA) vs. Indians RH Corey Kluber (6-2, 3.58)

Gibson allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings in a loss to the Indians on Sunday after winning his previous four decisions. The 29-year-old also fell to Cleveland on April 17 when he gave up three runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings and is 2-5 with a 6.07 ERA in 11 career starts against the Indians. Gibson has struggled with Francisco Lindor (9-for-16), Jason Kipnis (9-for-18) and Yan Gomes (9-for-18) and has served up three homers to Carlos Santana (5-for-27).

Kluber registered his second shutout of the season and fifth of his career when he allowed three hits and struck out a season-high 11 against Baltimore in his last turn. The 31-year-old has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in four of his 10 starts and has 80 overall in 65 1/3 innings. Kluber is 8-5 with a 3.51 ERA in 18 career starts against the Twins and has easily handled Eduardo Escobar (3-for-24) and Dozier (6-for-40, two homers) while experiencing some issues with Joe Mauer (14-for-47, two homers).

WALK-OFFS

1. The Indians activated RHP Cody Allen from the paternity list and optioned RHP Adam Plutko to Triple-A Columbus.

2. Escobar was hitless in four at-bats after going 17-for-36 during a nine-game hitting streak.

3. Cleveland 3B Jose Ramirez, who went 11-for-18 in last week's four-game sweep of the Twins, grounded out as a pinch hitter on Friday.

PREDICTION: Indians 6, Twins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 37-34 W1 16-25 21-9 5-4 19-17 10-10 3-3
Cleveland 39-33 L1 15-18 24-15 5-5 19-16 13-3 2-9
Last Meeting
Minnesota Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/23/17 MIN 5 CLE 0 .257 1 .706 .121 0 .388
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota E. Rosario .371 13 .891
Cleveland J. Ramirez .381 16 1.173
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota M. Sano 2 4 2
Cleveland E. Encarnacion 4 8 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.96 .208 66
Cleveland 2.36 .266 97
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota M. Sano .286 68 .958
Cleveland J. Ramirez .320 86 .933
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota M. Sano 18 44 52
Cleveland E. Encarnacion 17 44 40
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.96 .254 501
Cleveland 3.86 .256 696