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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

Preview: Rays-Indians


Published:   |   Updated: October 2, 2013 at 06:29 AM

Tonight: 8:07 p.m.

Season Series: Rays won 4-2

TV: TBS

Radio: 620 AM, 95.3 FM

At stake

The winner of this game advances to the best-of-5 American League Division Series to meet the Boston Red Sox.

Season series

Date Result* WP LP Save

April 5 RAYS 4, Indians 0 Moore McAllister

April 6 RAYS 6, Indians 0 Cobb Bauer

April 7 Indians 13, RAYS 0 Masterson Price

May 31 Rays 9, INDIANS 2 Wright Barnes Ramos

June 1 INDIANS 5, Rays 0 Jimenez Archer

June 2 Rays 11, INDIANS 3 Hellickson McAllister

*-Home team in caps

Who is Danny Salazar?

Unless you’re an Indians fan, Danny Salazar, tonight’s starting pitcher, might be something of a mystery. After all, the 23-year-old has made just 10 major-league starts (2-3, 3.12 ERA). But with a fastball in the mid- to upper-90s and a change-up Baseball America rated as the best in the Cleveland Indians farm system in 2012, Salazar settled in well with Cleveland. The right-hander from the Dominican Republic underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 but has bounced back well. He started this season in Double-A, advanced to Triple-A and made his major-league debut July 11. In 52 innings, he walked 15 and struck out 65.

Repeat performance?

Alex Cobb shut out the Indians for 7 innings on April 6 in a 6-0 victory. Cobb allowed just four hits and three walks while striking out six. in three career starts against Cleveland, Cobb is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA. Of the current Indians, Carlos Santana is 3-for7 (.429) against Cobb, Ryan Raburn is 3-for-8 (.375) and Nick Swisher is 3-for-10 (.300). Meanwhile, Mike Aviles, Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera are a combined 4-for-33 (.121).

On a roll

The Indians earned the first wild-card slot by winning their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Rays have won nine of 11.

Closing time

The Indians enter the postseason without a closer. Chris Perez had been filling the role, but he struggled down the stretch. Look for the Indians to match up lefty-lefty and righty-righty, with the possibility of Opening Day starter Justin Masterson getting the call to finish the game.

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