Indians-White Sox Preview
Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
- The Indians and White Sox have played each other more times on Memorial Day than any other two teams in major league history. Today's meeting will be the 63rd game between the teams all-time on the holiday, with Chicago holding a 32-30 edge in the series.
- Cleveland has won six straight games against American League Central opponents, the longest active winning streak against divisional opponents by any team.
- The White Sox are coming off a split of a four-game home series with the Yankees, winning the first two contests, but losing the last two games. The White Sox have yet to lose three straight games at U.S. Cellular Field this season.
- Indians pitchers have struck out 76 White Sox batters in 60.1 innings this season, an average of 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
- Lonnie Chisenhall is batting .381, the highest batting average by any Cleveland batter entering Memorial Day (minimum 75 plate appearances) since David Justice in 1997 (.395).
- Paul Konerko has hit 48 career home runs against the Indians, the tenth most by any single player in baseball history against Cleveland and the third most by any right-handed batter. Among righties, only Jimmie Foxx (67) and Harmon Killebrew (56) have more home runs against the Indians.
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By ALAN FERGUSON
(AP) -- After putting two players on the disabled list before their last game, the Cleveland Indians are expected to get one off the shelf before their finale against the Chicago White Sox.
All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis is slated to return to the lineup Wednesday night as the Indians try to avoid a three-game sweep in Chicago.
Cleveland (24-29) put Nick Swisher on the 15-day disabled list with a hyperextended left knee and Carlos Santana on the seven-day concussion list before Tuesday's 2-1 defeat. Kipnis rejoined the team after a rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus that same day but wasn't expected to be activated until Wednesday.
Kipnis was batting .234 with three homers, six doubles and 12 RBIs in 27 games before going on the DL on May 2 for a strained right oblique. He is batting .344 (11 for 32) during a nine-game hit streak against the White Sox and is hitting .340 with 19 RBIs in his last 27 matchups.
"I can't ever think of a good time not to get Kip back," manager Terry Francona told the team's website. "He's turned himself into one of the better players in the league, the way he approaches the game. I don't care if it's Sept. 30 or spring training. Having Kip back is great."
Kipnis, a suburban Chicago native, will try to help his club deny the White Sox (27-27) their first sweep over Cleveland since May 25-27, 2012, and a seventh win in 10 meetings this season.
Chicago won for the sixth time in nine games Tuesday and is a win away from moving over .500 for the first time since it was 19-18 on May 9.
Hector Noesi (0-4, 6.82 ERA) hasn't won since May 6, 2012, when he was with Seattle, losing 14 decisions since that victory while making 18 starts and appearing in 39 games.
The right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts this season for the White Sox, who claimed him off waivers from Texas on April 25. He had a relatively solid outing Friday against the New York Yankees, giving up three runs and four hits over six innings but matched a career high with five walks while not getting a decision in a 6-5 victory.
In his only career start against Cleveland on May 17, 2012, Noesi gave up one run over 6 1-3 innings in a 6-5, 11-inning loss for Seattle.
Kipnis is 0 for 4 lifetime against Noesi while Michael Bourn hit a grand slam in his only official at-bat.
Noesi will pitch opposite T.J. House (0-1, 6.43), who will make his second major league start. The left-hander gave up five runs and 11 hits, including a pair of homers, over six innings in an 8-4 loss in Baltimore on Friday.
"He gave up a lot of hits, paid for some of his mistakes, but saying all that, he kept his poise," Francona told the team's website. "As you learn the hitters and learn the league, he has enough there to win and be successful."
He'll be facing a Chicago team batting .254 with a .307 on-base percentage and .665 OPS in its last seven games.
"If everybody is not hitting, every guy wants to go to the plate and do something more impactful," manager Robin Ventura told the White Sox's official website. "They are trying to do too much instead of just playing the game and let the game come to you and put the bat on the ball and whatever happens, happens."
Updated May 28, 2014