Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Cleveland
When: 1:10 PM ET, Sunday, June 25, 2017
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

The Minnesota Twins looked as though they might be fading out of the American League Central race last weekend but have steadied the ship by rebounding to win four of five contests since. The Twins can move back into first place Sunday afternoon if they complete three-game sweep of the host Cleveland Indians - the same team that swept four from them at home a week ago.

Brian Dozier, who is 4-for-8 in the series, snapped a tie with a solo blast in the eighth inning as Minnesota topped the Indians 4-2 on Saturday after shutting them out 5-0 in Friday’s opener to improve to 22-9 on the road. Ervin Santana allowed one run on six hits in 13 innings to post a victory and a no-decision against Cleveland earlier in the season, and will try to notch his 10th win of the season in the series finale, while the Indians counter with fellow veteran Josh Tomlin. Cleveland came into the series with eight victories in nine games but has committed three errors and gone 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position the last two days against the Twins. Jose Ramirez belted his 12th homer of the season Saturday for the Indians after missing one day in the lineup and is 26-for-51 over his last 11 starts.

TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, FSN North (Minnesota), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Ervin Santana (9-4, 2.97 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (4-8, 6.07)

Santana had plenty of Cy Young buzz through the first two months of the season with seven wins and a 1.75 ERA, but he has struggled in three of his four starts in June. The 34-year-old Dominican Republic native gained two wins in those outings, although he gave up 18 total runs in three of them to surround a shutout of San Francisco. Ramirez is 9-for-19 with seven RBIs versus Santana, who is 6-11 with a 4.00 ERA in 23 starts against Cleveland.

Tomlin owns just one victory in four starts this month - allowing 15 earned runs over 19 1/3 innings - but held Minnesota to one run on six hits in eight frames despite taking the loss on May 12. The 32-year-old Texas Tech product has walked just two batters in the last seven games and six on the season over 75 2/3 innings. Joe Mauer is 11-for-29 against Tomlin, who is 5-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 16 games (13 starts) against the Twins.

WALK-OFFS

1. Cleveland DH Edwin Encarnacion hasn't homered in four straight contests after belting seven in a 12-game span.

2. Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano (illness) missed his second straight game and OF Max Kepler (foot) also sat out Saturday, although both could return for the finale.

3. Mauer is 6-for-13 with three walks and three runs scored during a four-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Indians 5, Twins 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 38-34 W2 16-25 22-9 5-4 20-17 10-10 3-3
Cleveland 39-34 L2 15-19 24-15 5-5 19-17 13-3 2-9
Last Meeting
Minnesota Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
6/24/17 MIN 4 CLE 2 .156 2 .635 .242 1 .706
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota J. Mauer .286 12 .690
Cleveland J. Ramirez .370 17 1.181
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota B. Dozier 2 4 5
Cleveland J. Ramirez 4 11 8
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.71 .204 70
Cleveland 2.33 .264 110
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota M. Sano .286 68 .958
Cleveland J. Ramirez .319 87 .937
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota M. Sano 18 44 52
Cleveland E. Encarnacion 17 44 40
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.92 .253 505
Cleveland 3.83 .256 709