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Indians aim to extend win streak vs. White Sox in Chicago

Limited to four runs in a recent four-game skid, the Cleveland Indians are starting to recapture their stride — and stroke — entering Friday’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox.

The Indians travel to Guaranteed Rate Field on a three-game winning streak, the latest victory a resounding 13-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.

“We’ve heard people say the Indians aren’t going to hit, but we know we’re going to be good for the rest of the season,” Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez said. “We have a very good group of hitters. As long as we do our job, we know the pitchers are going to do theirs and we’ll be fine.”

Ramirez homered from both sides of the plate Thursday as part of a 3-for-5 night that paced an 11-hit attack.

He also homered from both sides of the plate on July 26 against the Kansas City Royals. The Indians welcomed the White Sox to Progressive Field two days later, and Ramirez went 5-for-11 to help Cleveland win two of three in the series.

Chicago salvaged the last game of that set, the first victory in an eventual six-game winning streak that ended with Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. The White Sox fell to the Brewers 8-3 on Thursday, as well, but are confident a renewed resolve can help them regroup against their American League Central rivals.

“I tell you what, just the energy in the clubhouse,” White Sox second baseman Danny Mendick said. “When we show up to the field, there’s more confidence. It’s not like we are going to get pushed around. It’s more like we are going to do the pushing around. Everyone is just prepared. Everyone shows up to the field ready. They know the opponent. We know what they are going to bring.

“I feel there’s just more, how do I say this, more education. We have more veterans. We have guys who are really focused on baseball, and it brings a lot to everybody.”

Indians starter Aaron Civale (1-1, 3.75 ERA) has struck out nine batters in each of his first two outings in 2020. Entering the season, Civale’s previous career-best strikeout mark was seven against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 5, 2019.

Civale is 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox. In the opener of July 28’s doubleheader at Progressive Field, Civale defeated Chicago in his season debut behind six innings of two-run ball, scattering seven hits, one walk and nine strikeouts.

His opponent in that game, Dylan Cease, will be the same one to face him Friday.

Cease (1-1, 6.48 ERA) is coming off Sunday’s strong outing against the Kansas City Royals, when he earned his first victory of the season after spacing two runs, five hits, one walk and four strikeouts in six innings.

The Indians reached Cease for four runs on seven hits — including two home runs — in 2 1/3 innings. In two career starts against Cleveland, Cease is 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA.

Indians first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. is serving as acting manager for Terry Francona, who has missed the past five games due to an ongoing gastrointestinal issue. Francona will not travel to Chicago with the team.

–Field Level Media

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