CLEVELAND — Cody Allen is one of the least acclaimed yet most productive closers in the major leagues. On Friday night. when the Cleveland Indians open a three-game series with the Oakland A’s [url=http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/randall-cobb-jersey]Authentic Randall Cobb Jersey[/url] , Allen will be in uniform at Progressive Field for the first time as the Indians’ career saves leader.
In pitching the ninth inning of a 3-2 Cleveland win in Kansas City on Wednesday, Allen posted his 140th career save, breaking Bob Wickman’s franchise record of 139, which had stood since 2006.
“He means so much to all of us,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Allen. “This is a kid who was drafted in the 16th round, but through being a consummate professional, he’s now the Indians’ all-time leader. That’s pretty awesome. It’s a big accomplishment, and he’s not close to being done.”
Allen (2-3, 3.38 ERA) ranks seventh in the American League this year with 18 saves, but his year-in, year-out consistency has been his trademark. He has had at least 30 saves in each of the last three seasons. Only two other closers in the majors can say that: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and Boston’s Craig Kimbrel.
“This is something I’m extremely proud of,” Allen said of passing Wickman as the club’s saves leader. “It’s something I get to hang my hat on for my career. It’s very cool.”
The A’s (48-39) come to Cleveland with nearly the same record as the Indians (48-37) [url=http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/randall-cobb-jersey]Womens Randall Cobb Jersey[/url] , but what a difference a division makes. The first-place Indians lead the AL Central by 11 1/2 games. The A’s are in third in the AL West, 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros.
The A’s won two of three games from the Indians last weekend in Oakland. That was part of a longer streak in which the A’s have won eight of their last nine. Since June 16, Oakland is 14-3.
“I think we’re having a lot of fun,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman told MLB.com, “and no matter what the score is, I don’t think we count ourselves out. There’s no panic in the dugout. We just keep playing our game. We trust that we’re a good team.”
On Friday night, the A’s will send Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46 ERA) to the mound. In his last start on June 29 in Oakland, Blackburn baffled the Indians, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just three hits in a 3-1 victory.
Blackburn has started five major league games this year. In the one against Cleveland, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .150. In the other four starts, he’s 1-2 with an 8.83 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .324. In two career starts against the Indians [url=http://www.officialcanucks.com/authentic-adidas-derek-dorsett-jersey]Womens Derek Dorsett Jersey[/url] , Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24), who will make his first start since June 16, a 9-3 loss to Minnesota in which he was knocked out of the game in the second inning after getting hit in the right arm by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer.
Carrasco was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day with a right elbow contusion. He made one rehab start at Double-A Akron on June 30, pitching four scoreless innings and giving up one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.
Carrasco’s last legitimate start was his best start of the year, a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 11. In that game, he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up two hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.
In six career appearances, including five starts, against Oakland, Carrasco is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
The Oakland Athletics will go for a series victory when they face the Chicago White Sox in the finale of a four-game set Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Oakland (40-37) rallied for a 7-6 victory Saturday to post its second win in the past three games against the White Sox. The A’s have won six of their past seven games and have started a 10-game road trip with an impressive record of 4-1.
Meanwhile, Chicago (25-51) is sliding quickly in the opposite direction. The White Sox have lost nine of their past 10 games and dropped to 7-16 in one-run games after Saturday’s defeat.
Oakland has enjoyed its recent visits to Chicago’s South Side, winning eight of its last 13 games at the ballpark.
The latest win came thanks in large part to the heroics of outfielder Nick Martini [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/aaron-rodgers-jersey-cheap]Aaron Rodgers Jersey[/url] , who grew up in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake and attended White Sox games as a kid. Martini singled in the go-ahead run for his first big league hit Saturday, and he figures to have another contingent of family and friends in the stands on Sunday to support him.
Martini was called up from the minors before Saturday’s contest and promptly appeared in his fourth big league game.
“I told my family immediately,” Martini said when asked about getting the call to the majors. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to be in Chicago this weekend. Everybody was super-stoked.”
The A’s will turn to right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-1, 8.03 ERA), who will make his fourth start of the season. Blackburn has posted a 4-2 record with a 4.06 ERA in 13 career starts. He never has faced Chicago.
The White Sox will counter with left-hander Carlos Rodon (0-2, 4.41 ERA), who also will make his fourth start of the 2018 season. The 25-year-old was sidelined for the first couple months of the season because of a biceps injury.
Rodon allowed two earned runs in each of his first two starts before giving up four earned runs in his most recent outing. He is 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in three career starts against the Athletics.
One bright spot for the White Sox is shortstop Tim Anderson, who has homered in back-to-back games. His latest blast cleared the wall in right field and marked his 13th home run of the season.
“He’s seeing the ball very well, obviously,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Having some good at-bats [url=http://www.packerscheapstore.com/randall-cobb-jersey-cheap]Randall Cobb Jersey[/url] , getting some pitches he can handle and he’s obviously driven a few balls out of the ballpark.”
Anderson, who turned 25 on Saturday, has focused more on delivering power to all fields.
“The more I grow, the better hitter I become,” Anderson said. “I’m going to keep working.”
For Oakland, closer Blake Treinen has converted 14 consecutive save opportunities. In his last 21 appearances, he has a 0.73 ERA.
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