The Cleveland Indians have gotten their offense in gear since returning home from a rough first series of the season and look to finish off a four-game sweep of the visiting Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon. The Indians scored five times while losing two of three in frigid Minnesota to open 2019, but have won four of five since after Saturday's 7-2 victory - their highest output of the season.
Carlos Santana continues to be the top offensive threat for Cleveland, going 12-for-27 with seven RBIs, and All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez woke up his dormant bat Saturday with a pair of hits to give him five on the season and scored twice. Mike Clevinger will try to put a cap on a strong first homestand by matching his standout performance last week and Toronto looks to end its tailspin with fellow right-hander Marcus Stroman on the mound. The Blue Jays gave up only two runs while winning two of its first three games of the season, but have dropped six of seven since and managed to score five times since arriving in Cleveland. Shortstop Freddy Galvis has been a bright spot in the series for Toronto, going 4-for-9 with a pair of homers and three RBIs to raise his season average to .333 with a team-best six RBIs.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA, OMNI (Toronto), STO (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (0-1, 1.42 ERA) vs. Indians RH Mike Clevinger (0-0, 0.00)
Stroman is off to a strong start after an injury-shortened 2018 season, throwing seven scoreless innings in his debut versus Detroit before limiting Baltimore to two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 2-1 loss Tuesday. The 27-year-old Duke product has struck out 12 in his first two outings, but allowed nine hits against the Orioles. Tyler Naquin is 4-for-9 with an RBI versus Stroman, who gave up four runs across five innings in a no-decision against Cleveland last season.
Clevinger could not have been much more dominant in his first start of 2019, but he was unable to garner the victory despite permitting one hit over seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts. The 28-year-old Florida native set career highs with 13 wins, 207 strikeouts and 200 innings last season and boasts a 3.30 career ERA. Justin Smoak is 2-for-4 with a homer against Clevinger, who was pounded for seven runs over 10 innings in two starts versus Toronto last year.
1. Toronto OF Billy McKinney had a pair of hits in four at-bats Saturday after going 2-for-22 in his first seven games this season.
2. Cleveland OF-1B Jake Bauers had a two-run single Saturday for his first two RBIs with the club.
3. Smoak had a double in five at-bats Saturday after missing the previous two contests with a sore neck.
PREDICTION: Blue Jays 4, Indians 3 Bet Now
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