CLEVELAND — There is no team Edwin Jackson enjoys facing more than the one he will face Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field. The 34-year-old right-hander will be on the mound for the Oakland A’s [url= http://www.officiallightningprostore.com/authentic-adidas-nikita-kucherov-jersey]Adidas Nikita Kucherov Jersey[/url] , facing a Cleveland Indians team Jackson has beaten 10 times in a row.
It’s been more than 10 years since Jackson lost to Cleveland. The last time, and the only time, he lost to the Indians was on Aug. 17, 2007, when Jackson was pitching for Tampa Bay.
Since then, Jackson is 10-0 against the Indians. In 16 career appearances against Cleveland, Jackson is 10-1 with a 2.76 ERA. His 10 wins against the Indians match his most victories against any opponent. He has also beaten Pittsburgh 10 times.
Jackson’s 10-game winning streak against Cleveland is the longest by any pitcher against the Indians since Charlie Hough won 13 in a row from June 30, 1984, to April 4, 1988.
If all that wasn’t impressive enough, Jackson’s record in eight career appearances at Progressive Field is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA.
The A’s signed Jackson to a minor league contract in early June, and called him up to the majors on June 23. He is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA overall this season after making two starts for Oakland.
“Based on the way he was available and the way he’s been able to pitch for us it’s a surprise [url= http://www.officiallightningprostore.com/authentic-adidas-steven-stamkos-jersey]Adidas Steven Stamkos Jersey[/url] , but he’s always been able to do that a little bit with the sinker and the four-seamer,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said, according to USA Today.
“Now he just manipulates a little bit more and the off-speed stuff with the changeup speed and the slider. It really keeps you off-balance.”
Jackson’s last start was against the Indians, and it resulted in a 7-2 victory in Oakland on June 30. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, with six strikeouts.
The Indians will start ace Corey Kluber on Saturday. Kluber (12-4, 2.64 ERA) started the season very strong, but has had a couple of tough outings over his last four starts. In his first 14 starts, Kluber was 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA. However, in his last four starts he is 2-2, with a 5.95 ERA.
Kluber’s last start was a 9-3 win over Kansas City on Monday, a game in which Kluber pitched six innings [url= http://www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-mitchell-marner-jersey]Adidas Mitchell Marner Jersey[/url] , giving up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
In two starts against the A’s last year Kluber was 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA. In eight career appearances, including seven starts, against Oakland he is 2-4 with a 2.66 ERA.
The Indians won the first game of the series 10-4 Friday night. In the last two meetings between the two teams Cleveland has outscored Oakland 25-7.
The Indians on Friday designated for assignment reliever George Kontos to clear a roster spot for pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who was activated off the disabled list and started Friday’s game.
The Indians will be adding another player in the not too distant future. The team has signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league contract as an eventual replacement for outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with a left calf strain.
“It’s a significant strain. He’s going to miss considerable time,” said Indians manager Terry Francona.
Cabrera played 17 games with the Indians earlier this season, hitting .207. He was designated for assignment on June 14. He had three hits Thursday in his first game at Triple-A Columbus.
“Three hits in his first game is pretty phenomenal,” Francona said. “We want to let him get his legs under him, but when he signed he knew he wasn’t going to stay (at Columbus) forever. So at some point we’ll have to make a decision (on how to add Cabrera to the major league roster).”
LOS ANGELES — Two things Clayton Kershaw clearly hates: Being on the disabled list and having pitch restrictions while on the mound.
The Los Angeles Dodgers‘ left-hander might be done with both when he takes the mound Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kershaw will be making his third start since coming off the disabled list for his most recent back injury and has been trending in a positive direction.
What Kershaw would like to see is more of the offense the Dodgers showed in Monday’s series opener, when the club scored 17 runs on 21 hits in an easy victory.
Tasked with slowing that offense at Dodger Stadium, while matching Kershaw pitch for pitch, will be Pirates right-hander Ian Nova.
If Kershaw is almost all the way back on top after an injury [url= http://www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-auston-matthews-jersey]Adidas Auston Matthews Jersey[/url] , Nova is there already. In four starts since coming off the DL because of a sprained right finger, Nova is 2-0 with a 1.75 ERA.
Kershaw is only this far along in his return from the DL because the Dodgers pulled a last-minute switch on June 23, and had him pitch in New York against the Mets instead of with Triple-A Oklahoma City on a rehab outing.
Kershaw threw 55 pitches against the Mets, giving up two runs on five hits over three innings. On June 28 against the Chicago Cubs, Kershaw was back at it, throwing 68 pitches while giving up one run on four hits over five innings.
A natural progression would have Kershaw at about 80 pitches on Tuesday, but Kershaw has a way of getting more out of himself when the situation requires it.
“I’ve proven that I’m healthy,” Kershaw told reporters after his most recent start. “So now, next time out I’m sure the restriction should hopefully be pretty close to off. (I will) get ready and just try to beat an opponent.”
Nova has thrown between 86 and 94 pitches in his four starts since coming off the DL and has given up one or no runs in three of those outings. The one where he did not was on Wednesday at New York. But he did hold the Mets to three runs over six innings, keeping the Pirates close enough to put together a ninth-inning rally for a victory.
That victory was part of a Pirates run where they won four of six games and took series at New York and San Diego. Sure there was a five-game losing streak before that, but going back even further, the Pirates had won four of five.
So even though they were roughed up by the Dodgers on Monday [url= http://www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-nazem-kadri-jersey]Adidas Nazem Kadri Jersey[/url] , the Pirates have learned the value of resiliency.
“We’re well aware of what we need to improve upon,” manager Clint Hurdle said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We’re well aware of our monthly progress and then some of our monthly challenges. Love the fact that the game brings attention to specific areas, daily, weekly, monthly, and then I love to watch how some guys are able to fight and battle and work through it.”
Up next is a challenge against Kershaw, who is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 career starts against Pittsburgh. The Pirates are one of two National League teams Kershaw has a losing record against in the regular season, along with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Nova knows his way around the Dodgers, going 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two starts, one in each of the previous two seasons.