MLB Baseball

4
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Boston2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 451
Cleveland0 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 570
5
  W: C. Allen (1-6)   L: B. Workman (0-1)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, August 21, 2017
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 21,428

Hot teams square off as Red Sox visit Indians

CLEVELAND -- In what could be a preview of a postseason series between two division leaders, the Boston Red Sox will visit Progressive Field on Monday night for the opener of a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians.

American League East-leading Boston (71-52) and AL Central-best Cleveland (68-54) are two of the hottest teams in the majors.

The Red Sox, who lead second-place New York by five games in the East, are 14-3 since July 31.

The Indians, who lead second-place Minnesota by five games in the Central, are coming off a grueling but productive 11-game, four-city road trip in which they went 8-3. The trek ended with a 7-4 loss at Kansas City on Sunday, dropping Cleveland to 20-9 since July 19.

The Indians will be the latest challenge for the Red Sox, who are grinding through a rugged portion of their schedule.

"We've been in this stretch of games, for the entire month, whether it's the Yankees, Rays, Indians and the Cardinals who are all fighting for their division," Boston manager John Farrell told MLB.com. "We have no break in the schedule. Our guys are handling it great."

Cleveland is in the midst of a portion of its schedule in which it is playing 23 games in 23 days. The Monday contest will be the team's first home game since Aug. 9. The Indians are 10-3 at home since the All-Star break.

"We've got a lot of baseball to play, but that's OK. We're glad to be home," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Two things are for sure when we're at home. We get to play in front of our fans, and we have clean underwear."

In the first game of the series, Boston will start left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 3.97 ERA) against Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger (6-5, 3.75).

Rodriguez will be making his second career start against the Indians. His first came on Aug. 18, 2015, a 9-1 victory in which he allowed one run on six hits and had five strikeouts in eight innings.

In his past seven starts, Rodriguez is 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA. His last start came on Wednesday, a no-decision against St. Louis in which he pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

Clevinger has been the Indians' sixth starter for much of this season, but he is getting plenty of work. He replaced Corey Kluber in the rotation when Kluber missed most of the month of May with a lower back strain.

Clevinger is currently filling in for Josh Tomlin, who has been on the disabled list since July 31 with a left hamstring strain.

When not starting, Clevinger has made three relief appearances. In his 15 starts, he is 6-4 with a 3.38 ERA.

One of those starts came on July 31 at Boston, and it did not go well. In a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox, Clevinger pitched just three innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and four walks.

The Indians' starting pitching has been spectacular over the past month. Cleveland starters have given up one or zero runs in 13 of the team's past 17 games, and the Indians have pitched shutouts in three of their past 10 contests.

Updated August 21, 2017

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