Cleveland Indians (50-49) at Minnesota Twins (45-53), 8:10 p.m. (ET)
07/21/2014 10:41 AM
07/22/2014 10:35 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - Danny Salazar could have returned to the majors at a more important time for the Cleveland Indians, but it wouldn't have been easy.
Jettisoned to the minors two months ago after a bout with ineffectiveness, he returns to the Indians rotation on Tuesday night as the team tries to stop the bleeding in game two of a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Cleveland won three straight from the Detroit Tigers through Saturday night to close within 4 1/2 games of the American League's Central Division leaders, but lost the finale on Sunday and began the series with the Twins with a 4-3 loss on Monday.
The Indians had entered the opener with Minnesota at 11-5 for the month, best in the majors. Another concern is the status of Asdrubal Cabrera, who departed Monday's game with a lower back injury.
As for Salazar, he allowed two runs in four innings of a 4-2 loss to Toronto on May 15 and headed to Triple-A Columbus the next day. He was 3-4 with a 4.02 earned run average in 10 starts in the minors.
In two starts against Minnesota this season, he's allowed five runs in 12 innings in a pair of no-decisions -- though both games were won by Cleveland.
The Twins victory on Monday ended a six-game home losing streak against the Indians. They'd also entered after losing three straight over the weekend to Tampa Bay.
"Coming off the All-Star break and losing three in a row, you obviously don't feel real good about yourself," Minnesota's Josh Willingham said. "We needed a big win."
Yohan Pino makes his sixth career start for the Twins, coming off his initial big-league win in his last start on July 10.
In that game, the right-hander surrendered a run in five innings of a 4-2 defeat of Seattle.
He went down to Triple-A Rochester during the All-Star break and allowed five runs with seven walks in a Thursday outing.
Still, there's no concern for Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.
"He told me he was just working on a few things, so we'll leave it at that," Gardenhire said. "He really competes hard and changes speeds. It's nice to have him back up here for another start. We'll throw that one out from the minor leagues."
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