Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

To be continued …

It wasn’t a sweep, but it wasn’t all that bad for the Cleveland Indians in their series with Detroit this week.

The Tribe took 2-of-3 to shave a game off the Tigers’ lead heading into a weekend series with the Twins.

“It was a great series,” manager Manny Acta said in published reports. “We came in trying to shorten up the distance and we did. The goal was to sweep them, but if you can’t sweep them, two out of three isn’t bad.”

The Indians probably did as much as they could against Detroit’s Justin Verlander, somehow scoring three runs on just three hits.

And while he couldn’t match Verlander, Fausto Carmona wasn’t that bad. He gave up all four runs and seven hits in as many innings of work, but he struck out six and only walked two.

“Fausto threw the ball really well,” Acta said. “He gave up those runs on ground balls. He had very good rhythm after the second inning. I can’t say enough about him.”

Carmona has posted a 2.85 ERA in his past six starts – a sign that he is finally turning his season around?

You can tell things are starting to heat up, as Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santanta got into an argument in the dugout after the top of the first inning.

Santana failed to catch a high throw from third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, which led to Detroit taking a 1-0 lead, and Cabrera took charge when they reached the dugout, letting Santana know those kind of plays can’t happen with the team in a pennant race.

“I like it,” Acta said. “It means people around here want to win. Asdrubal confronted Carlos about not catching the throw. Carlos didn’t like the way he talked to him. That’s fire. I like it. People care.”

So the Tribe picked up an important game in the standings this series, and Detroit had to turn to their ace to salvage a game. So that’s good.

Now the Indians need to make sure they don’t give it back this weekend with the Twins in town.

The Indians are only 3-6 against Minnesota this season; there can’t be a letdown as they close out the home stand.

After Minnesota comes a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox before another huge three-game series in Detroit.

“They’re not going anywhere,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of the Indians. “They’re for real. They’re going to be there. We know that.”

With the way things are going, would anyone really be surprised if this division came down to the final weekend of the season, when the Indians travel to Detroit for a three-game series?

***

The Indians had good news on Friday, as they activated Shin-Soo Choo from the disabled list and designated Austin Kearns for assignment.

Choo is coming back about four weeks earlier than what was estimated at the time of his injury. One concern is that his timing will be off for a while, as he only had six at-bats at low-Class A Lake County during his rehab.

But if Choo can work the kinks out this weekend against the Twins and next week against the ChiSox, his bat could be a boost to the lineup by next weekend in Detroit.

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