The Cleveland Indians won't read too much into their most successful stretch of the season.
After opening this six-game trip with a winning series, the Indians look to continue their surge Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Cleveland (18-20) closed April averaging 2.2 runs during an 0-6 trip against San Francisco and the Los Angeles Angels, but has averaged 4.7 while winning seven of 10 in May, including five of the last six.
"We just had a bad road trip a while back and have been digging ourselves out of it," manager Terry Francona told the Indians' official website. "We're not hitting on all cylinders yet, but playing better with more confidence."
The Indians regrouped on the road by taking two of three at Tampa Bay after holding on for a 6-5 win Sunday.
Outfielder Michael Brantley has been a big reason for Cleveland's success, batting .356 with 11 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak despite going 3 for 12 versus the Rays.
Justin Masterson (2-1, 3.86 ERA) will try to win a third straight start when he takes the mound in the series opener.
The right-hander went 0-1 with a 4.84 ERA in his first six starts but has yielded two earned runs and eight hits over 13 2-3 innings in the last two. Those runs came in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-4 victory over Minnesota on Thursday.
Since he gave up eight runs and 13 hits in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-1 road defeat to the Blue Jays on July 30, 2010, Masterson has allowed six runs and 20 hits over 34 innings while going 2-0 in his last five starts against them. He yielded two runs and struck out a season-high nine in 6 1-3 innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 home win over Toronto on April 18.
Melky Cabrera is hitting .556 (15 for 27) versus Masterson, while Toronto teammate Jose Bautista is 6 for 19 (.316) with two home runs against him.
Bautista's three-run homer accounted for one of his three hits Monday as the Blue Jays (19-20) beat the Angels 7-3 to avoid a four-game sweep. He has eight RBIs while Toronto has split the first six on a nine-game home stay.
Scheduled Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey (3-3, 4.72) opened the season 1-3 with a 6.26 ERA, but is 2-0 with a 3.28 ERA in four starts since. He allowed two earned runs in 6 1-3 innings of a 12-6 victory over Philadelphia on Thursday.
The right-handed knuckleballer had a 3.75 ERA in losing a pair of starts against the Indians last season.
Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera is 10 for 21 with two home runs in the last five games, and 3 for 6 with two homers and a double versus Dickey.
It's uncertain if Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus will be available after he left Monday with tightness in his right hamstring. He's 7 for 68 (.103) in his career versus Cleveland and 2 for 13 against Masterson.
The Blue Jays expect shortstop Jose Reyes to play after he was rested Monday and not because he appeared to injure himself Sunday. He's 6 for 15 (.400) in his last four contests.
The Associated Press News Service
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