CLEVELAND (SportsDirect Inc.) — After a brief slump with the bats, the Cleveland Indians have their offense back in gear, and the 22-year-old Francisco Lindor has played a big part in the revival.
Lindor is batting .500 while hitting safely in seven straight contests and the American League Central-leading Indians will try to extend their winning streak to six contests when they go for a three-game interleague sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Lindor has collected 15 hits in those seven games, including four on Saturday as Cleveland posted an 8-3 victory and pushed its lead over Detroit in the Central to 5 ½ games.
The Indians went through a stretch during which they scored fewer than two runs in seven of eight games before totaling 27 in the last four.
The injury-plagued Marlins are back at .500 (68-68) after dropping seven of their last eight contests and are three games behind St. Louis for the National League’s second wild card.
Christian Yelich has tried to keep Miami afloat while going 7-for-18 with three homers and nine RBIs in the last five games.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Tom Koehler (9-10, 4.02 ERA) vs. Indians RH Danny Salazar (11-6, 3.88)
Koehler is winless in four starts after allowing five runs, 10 hits and three walks over five innings in a loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday. That start ended a stretch in which the 30-year-old completed at least six innings in seven straight games and extended his run of contests giving up a homer to four. Koehler faces the Indians for the first time and is 6-7 with a 4.78 ERA in 17 interleague games.
Salazar comes in off his best start during a five-game winless stretch as he permitted two runs while striking out 10 over 5 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old Dominican, who is 5-2 at home, owns 146 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings over 23 starts. Chris Johnson (1-for-2) is the only Marlin to face Salazar, who will meet Miami for the first time and is 2-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 11 interleague starts.
1. Marlins C J.T. Realmuto is 9-for-16 with a pair of homers and three RBIs during his four-game hitting streak.
2. Cleveland OF Coco Crisp went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored in his first game back with the Indians since being acquired from Oakland.
3. Miami CF Marcell Ozuna (sore left wrist) has missed three straight games and is unlikely to return on Sunday.
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