CLEVELAND — There is no team Edwin Jackson enjoys facing more than the one he will face Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field. The 34-year-old right-hander will be on the mound for the Oakland A’s [url=http://www.officialcapitals.com/authentic-adidas-jay-beagle-jersey]Jay Beagle Jersey[/url] , facing a Cleveland Indians team Jackson has beaten 10 times in a row.
It’s been more than 10 years since Jackson lost to Cleveland. The last time, and the only time, he lost to the Indians was on Aug. 17, 2007, when Jackson was pitching for Tampa Bay.
Since then, Jackson is 10-0 against the Indians. In 16 career appearances against Cleveland, Jackson is 10-1 with a 2.76 ERA. His 10 wins against the Indians match his most victories against any opponent. He has also beaten Pittsburgh 10 times.
Jackson’s 10-game winning streak against Cleveland is the longest by any pitcher against the Indians since Charlie Hough won 13 in a row from June 30, 1984, to April 4, 1988.
If all that wasn’t impressive enough, Jackson’s record in eight career appearances at Progressive Field is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA.
The A’s signed Jackson to a minor league contract in early June, and called him up to the majors on June 23. He is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA overall this season after making two starts for Oakland.
“Based on the way he was available and the way he’s been able to pitch for us it’s a surprise, but he’s always been able to do that a little bit with the sinker and the four-seamer,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, according to USA Today.
“Now he just manipulates a little bit more and the off-speed stuff with the changeup speed and the slider. It really keeps you off-balance.”
Jackson’s last start was against the Indians, and it resulted in a 7-2 victory in Oakland on June 30. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, with six strikeouts.
The Indians will start ace Corey Kluber on Saturday. Kluber (12-4, 2.64 ERA) started the season very strong [url=http://www.officialcapitals.com/authentic-adidas-john-carlson-jersey]John Carlson Jersey[/url] , but has had a couple of tough outings over his last four starts. In his first 14 starts, Kluber was 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA. However, in his last four starts he is 2-2, with a 5.95 ERA.
Kluber’s last start was a 9-3 win over Kansas City on Monday, a game in which Kluber pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
In two starts against the A’s last year Kluber was 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA. In eight career appearances, including seven starts, against Oakland he is 2-4 with a 2.66 ERA.
The Indians won the first game of the series 10-4 Friday night. In the last two meetings between the two teams Cleveland has outscored Oakland 25-7.
The Indians on Friday designated for assignment reliever George Kontos to clear a roster spot for pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who was activated off the disabled list and started Friday’s game.
The Indians will be adding another player in the not too distant future. The team has signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league contract as an eventual replacement for outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with a left calf strain.
“It’s a significant strain. He’s going to miss considerable time,” said Indians manager Terry Francona.
Cabrera played 17 games with the Indians earlier this season, hitting .207. He was designated for assignment on June 14. He had three hits Thursday in his first game at Triple-A Columbus.
“Three hits in his first game is pretty phenomenal,” Francona said. “We want to let him get his legs under him, but when he signed he knew he wasn’t going to stay (at Columbus) forever. So at some point we’ll have to make a decision (on how to add Cabrera to the major league roster).”
Austin Bibens-Dirkx earned his first victory of the season, shutting down a struggling Kansas City Royals squad that’s wondering when it will get its next win.
Bibens-Dirkx pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Rougned Odor homered and the Texas Rangers extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
Bibens-Dirkx (1-1) allowed one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings for his first win since last Sept. 6 in a relief appearance at Atlanta – and sent the Royals to their ninth straight loss.
”The first two starts didn’t quite go as I had wanted,” Bibens-Dirkx said, ”so to get another opportunity and to come out here and do what I feel like I can do on a pretty consistent basis was nice.”
Kansas City’s slump is its longest this season, and the Royals have dropped 15 of 16 overall and been outscored 102-38 while losing 16 of 18 in June. Their worst June in franchise history was 7-19 in 1970 [url=http://www.officialcapitals.com/authentic-adidas-lars-eller-jersey]Lars Eller Jersey[/url] , the team’s second year in existence. The Royals will wind up June with nine games against the Astros, Angels, Brewers and Mariners, clubs above .500.
Bibens-Dirkx, a 33-year-old right-hander, spent 12 years in the minors, including two seasons with independent league teams before making his big league debut last year. He was called up to replace Yohander Mendez, who was sent to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday after violating team rules.
Jake Diekman worked the ninth for his second save, but not before yielding a leadoff homer to Mike Moustakas. The game ended when Hunter Dozier was thrown out at second on a delayed steal.
”It’s perfect timing,” Royals manager Ned Yost said to steal. ”You probably haven’t noticed that we’ve been having trouble bunching some hits together. It’s a chance to maybe hopefully catch them by surprise and get into scoring position and one hit will tie the ballgame up and keep us going.”
Yost acknowledged that Isiah Kiner-Falefa making his first big league start behind the plate factored into the decision to send Dozier. His throw nearly hit Diekman in the head.
”It was kind of scary, a crazy, crazy way to end the game,” Kiner-Falefa said. ”It worked out. Everything worked out. That was close. I was kind of in shock that he was out. I was just glad it didn’t hit Jake, honestly. I tried to adjust my throw last second and saw it bounce, but that was close.”
Diekman just avoided being hit.
”I was shocked – that the ball was thrown, that he was running at all – but it was my bad for not getting out of the way,” Diekman said. ”It ended the game and it didn’t hit me, so we’re good.”
Odor homered into the Royals’ bullpen with two outs in the sixth on a 1-2 pitch from Royals starter Jakob Junis, who has lost his last five starts and has not won since May 18. Junis (5-8) has given up 19 home runs to tie for the American League lead. He allowed three runs and five hits with four walks and a hit batter.
”I’ve given up a lot of home runs this year [url=http://www.officialcapitals.com/authentic-adidas-madison-bowey-jersey]Madison Bowey Jersey[/url] ,” Junis said. ”It’s something I’m conscious about. I’m trying to keep in the ball park because when I do that’s when I have more success. I can’t pinpoint on it on one exact thing.”
Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a single, extending his on-base streak to 34 games. He stole second, moved to third on Elvis Andrus‘ high chopper back to Junis and scored on Nomar Mazara’s fly out to center,
The Rangers loaded the bases with no outs in the second on singles by Jurickson Profar and Odor and Joey Gallo’s first of three walks. The Rangers, however, converted that into only one run when Kiner-Falefa grounded into a double play.
Alex Gordon singled with one out in the Kansas City second and scored on Dozier’s double.
Bibens-Dirkx and Kiner-Falefa became the first starting pitcher and catcher in big league history with hyphenated last names.
After the Royals traded closer Kelvin Herrera to Washington, who will inherit that role? ”All of them,” Yost said of his relievers. ”Opportunity exists down there. We’ll have to see who takes advantage of it. I’ll look at different guys, but I would prefer one guy to emerge, take advantage of the opportunity. But it’s wide-open right now.”
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (elbow discomfort) threw batting practice to C Robinson Chirinos and OF Carlos Tocci. He is hopeful to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday. ”There were some quality pitches inside the set, like a guy that was getting ready to take the next step of the rehab process,” Banister said. … RHP Chris Martin (right calf strain) also threw to hitters. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday. ”He’s close,” Banister said.
Rangers: Off on Thursday before opening a weekend series Friday at Minnesota with LHP Mike Minor (4-4, 5.35) starting.
Royals: Travel day on Thursday to Houston, where LHP Danny Duffy (3-7, 5.55) will start the series opener Friday.