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Sunday Game Thread: Indians vs. Twins (the rubber match)

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Let's hope Justin Masterson does better than his rotation mates have done this week.

Jason Miller


Cleveland Indians
vs. Minnesota Twins

Sunday, April 6, 2014 (1:05 ET)

TV: STO (CLE), FSNO (MIN)

Radio: WTAM (CLE), TIBN (MIN)

Starting pitchers: Justin Masterson (RH) vs. Ricky Nolasco (RH)

We're back to the Opening Day starters, which seems like good news for the Tribe, since Masterson is the only guy in the rotation who pitched well the first time through. Nolasco was signed this offseason to the largest contract the Twins have ever given a free agent (4 years, $49 million) and place at the top of their rotation. Way back in 2008 he had a very good year and looked like a blossoming star, but he's proven himself an average MLB pitcher, nothing more, nothing less (and I found it surprising that Minnesota chose to commit to him for 4 years).

Starting Lineups:

Indians Twins
Nyjer Morgan (CF) Brian Dozier (2B)
Nick Swisher (1B) Joe Mauer (1B)
Jason Kipnis (2B) Josh Willingham (LF)
Carlos Santana (3B) Chris Colabello (DH)
Michael Brantley (LF) Trevor Plouffe (3B)
Lonnie Chisenhall (DH) Jason Kubel (RF)
Yan Gomes (C) Kurt Suzuki (C)
David Murphy (RF) Aaron Hicks (CF)
Mike Aviles (SS) Pedro Florimon (SS)

Asdrubal Cabrera gets a day off, while Chisenhall starts at DH again and is bumped up to #6 in the order. Heading into the season I was worried he'd be sent down when Jason Giambi was ready, and after the opening series in Oakland, that seemed likely, but he's hit well so far and at this point I think he's removed himself from the chopping block (which I'm happy about, since I didn't want him on the block to begin with).

Fun fact: Mauer has 39 career PA against Masterson. His line: .229/.308/.257

Today's other AL Central games:

Detroit (Justin Verlander) vs. Baltimore (Chris Tillman), 1:08 ET - Detroit still hasn't lost, so let's hope Baltimore can do something to change that.

Chicago (Chris Sale) @ Kansas City (James Shields), 2:10 ET - If you're a pitching junkie, this is the best game for you this afternoon.

Today's Indians minor-league affiliate games:

Triple-A: Columbus vs. Indianapolis, 1:05 ET (Tyler Cloyd)

Double-A: Akron @ Binghamton, 1:05 ET (Kyle Davies)

High-A: Carolina vs. Potomac, 2:00 ET (Cole Sulser)

Low-A: Lake County vs. Lansing, 1:30 ET (Adam Plutko)

Some news on Michael Bourn (sort of):