After losing two out of three in Cleveland in their first meeting with the Twins in early April, the Indians are looking for payback starting on Monday.
After going 0-6 on a road trip through San Francisco and Anaheim, the Indians bounced back to take two out of three against Chicago at Progressive Field. The Tribe nearly completed the sweep, but closer John Axford gave up a three-run homer to Dayan Viciedo in the ninth inning to get stuck with a 4-3 loss on Sunday.
Right-hander Zach McAllister will be called on to start for the Indians on Monday in the first game of a four-game set at Progressive Field.
McAllister started the final game of the road trip on three days' rest on Wednesday against the Angels, and he gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. To McAllister, command was the problem, not short rest.
"Everything felt good on that short rest," McAllister said. "A couple high pitch counts to some hitters and not very good command, that really hurt me. I felt good on my last start, and I feel good now. I think you work on command, trying to keep the ball down between starts, doing my bullpen and playing catch."
The Indians are also 7-4 in series openers this season. McAllister was responsible for one of those wins, giving up two earned runs in six innings against the Royals on April 21.
"Hopefully it continues to happen," McAllister said of the Tribe's success in series openers.
The Twins counter with right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has a 4.34 ERA in five starts. He pitched well in Cleveland in his first start of the year on April 5, giving up just one run over five innings to get the win. He pitched deep into the game against the Dodgers in his last start on Wednesday, going 6 2/3 innings, but was charged with two late runs. He ended up giving up five runs on nine hits and three walks.
"I thought Gibson deserved better," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He made good pitches, but they put them in the right places on him there. I thought he threw the ball pretty good."
Twins: Mauer leaves Sunday's game early
First baseman Joe Mauer left Sunday's game against the Orioles in the top of the third inning with lower back spasms. He's day to day heading into the four-game series.
Mauer lined out to center field in his at-bat in the first inning and took the field again for the top of the second, but he was replaced by Chris Colabello at first base in the top of the third.
Indians: Bourn expects to return soon
Center fielder Michael Bourn left Saturday's game after the third inning with soreness in his left hamstring, but could return as early as Monday's series opener.
"It's nothing major, just something lingering," Bourn said. "I'm just going to take it one day at a time, see how it feels [Monday], and go from there."
• The Indians went 13-6 against the Twins in 2013, including a 6-3 record against Minnesota at Progressive Field.
• Indians veteran Jason Giambi left Saturday's game with a right calf cramp in the sixth inning but came in feeling better on Sunday and was available to pinch-hit.
• The Indians called up Nyjer Morgan from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday to give the team more depth in the outfield. Reliever Nick Hagadone was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Morgan on the roster.
• Indians right-hander Corey Kluber set the club record for consecutive strikeouts on Sunday, striking out seven straight White Sox from the third to fifth innings en route to a personal-best 13 K's.
• Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he doesn't have a primary shortstop, and he'll continue to mix and match Pedro Florimon and Eduardo Escobar, while also trying to find a chance to start rookie Danny Santana, who was officially called up from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday.
• Twins second baseman Brian Dozier stole two bases against the Orioles on Sunday, and now leads the team with 11 on the season. He also leads the team with eight homers.