Blue Jays-Indians Preview
CLEVELAND -- Now that closer Roberto Osuna is back on track, the Toronto Blue Jays try to win a series from the Cleveland Indians.
The two teams have split the first two contests of their three-game set, the last of which will be played Sunday at Progressive Field.
Osuna has ridden the roller coaster in the first two games. In a spectacular blown save Friday night, he gave up back-to-back home runs to Jose Ramirez and Tyler Naquin in the ninth inning. Naquin's was a walk-off inside-the-park homer.
Saturday night, Osuna came in to pitch the ninth with the Blue Jays leading 6-5, and he retired the side in order. Better yet, two of the three outs he got were Ramirez and Naquin.
"It was almost an identical scenario," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Everybody blows a game once in a while. But when that game is over, you try to bounce back."
That's exactly what Osuna did.
On Sunday, the Blue Jays will send Marcus Stroman (9-5, 4.63 ERA) to the mound against Cleveland's Corey Kluber (13-8, 3.15).
Stroman's last start against the Indians came on July 1, in that epic 19-inning game won by the Indians 2-1. In that game, Stroman pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
Stroman has made two career appearances against the Indians and has no record and a 5.63 ERA.
Kluber comes into Sunday's start on a roll.
He hasn't lost a game since July 3 -- a 17-1 loss to Toronto in which he gave up five runs in 3 1/3 innings, falling to 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA in four starts versus the Blue Jays. He is 5-0 with a 1.65 ERA in seven starts since.
Sunday's game will be the finale of Cleveland's longest homestand of the season: 11 games against the Angels, Red Sox, White Sox and Blue Jays. The Indians have gone 7-3 in the first 10 games.
The Indians and Blue Jays both lead their respective divisions. The Indians are in first place in the AL Central and Toronto leads the AL East, so they could be potential postseason opponents.