The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox will compete for a series victory when they square off in the rubber match of a three-game series Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Cleveland (65-51) evened the series with a 3-1 win Saturday that included back-to-back home runs from Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez. The Indians have won six of their last eight games and enjoy a healthy lead atop the American League Central.
Chicago (42-74) has dropped seven of its last 12. The White Sox will try to break out on offense after scoring three runs or fewer in each of their last five games -- the team's longest such cold spell of the season.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (13-6, 3.69 ERA) will make his 22nd start. He won five straight decisions before sustaining a loss Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins. He gave up three runs andn 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
In 11 games (10 starts) against Chicago, Carrasco is 5-4 with a 4.05 ERA. He has walked 15 and struck out 68 in 60 innings.
White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (4-8, 5.58) will make his 16th start. He is looking to post a quality start to help him snap out of a long-term tailspin. He is 1-7 with an 8.24 ERA (40 earned runs in 43 2/3 innings) in his last nine starts and allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings of Monday's 7-0 loss to the New York Yankees.
In five games (three starts) against the Indians during his brief career, Covey is 1-1 with a 4.19 ERA. He has 11 walks and 12 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
One bright spot lately for the White Sox has been second baseman Yoan Moncada, who has hit better since being demoted to the No. 8 spot in the batting order. He doubled in the series opener and homered Saturday.
That said, Moncada leads the majors with 165 strikeouts and is hitting .220 this season with a .303 on-base percentage.
"This kid's going to be pretty good," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I think that he's experiencing now a lot of things that maybe he would have experienced had he still been in the minor leagues. He just happens to be doing it at the major league level.
"Like a lot of our guys now, they're experiencing some moments now that are difficult at a particular time, but I think they're gaining knowledge every day. They're inching closer to ultimately who I believe they're going to become."
The Indians will play their second straight game without designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Saturday because of swelling in his left biceps.
"When I was talking to him about it in the tunnel, he kept saying, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,'" Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters. "And I'm like, you don't need to be sorry, man. I just want to do what's right for you."
The Indians are 36-17 against AL Central opponents this season and have won 18 of their last 22 divisional meetings. Meanwhile, the White Sox are 17-29 against AL Central teams and have dropped 12 of 18.
Indians, White Sox go for series win