The Cleveland Indians are trying to avoid overlooking the sputtering Minnesota Twins with a pair of key series on the horizon.
Asdrubal Cabrera's red-hot stretch at the plate may keep them from doing that.
Cabrera looks to continue his production and help the Indians sweep a three-game series from the visiting Twins on Sunday.
Cleveland (60-57) is second in the Central, three games behind first-place Detroit with Chicago five games back.
The Indians will have a chance to do some damage in the division race when they open a six-game road trip against the White Sox on Tuesday before a three-game series against the Tigers next weekend.
Before that, Cleveland will try to finish a six-game homestand with five wins by sweeping Minnesota (52-67) for the first time since taking three straight at Progressive Field from Sept. 15-17, 2008.
"Let's try to finish the deal," manager Manny Acta said following Saturday's 3-1 win.
Cabrera came up big again Saturday with a three-run homer. He's batting .357 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 15 games, hitting safely in all but one.
Cabrera's 20th home run made him the third Indians shortstop to reach that total, joining Woodie Held and Jhonny Peralta. He totaled 18 homers in his first four years in the majors, and owns a .348 average with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 32 career home meetings with the Twins.
"We have an opportunity here and I want to play hard and just win," Cabrera said. "We are playing good baseball, getting good pitching and I want everybody to feel we're there."
David Huff (1-1, 0.51 ERA) is slated to be recalled from Triple-A Columbus and start in place of Carlos Carrasco, who landed on the disabled list Monday with an elbow injury.
Huff was impressive in his latest start for Cleveland, yielding one unearned run and three hits with six strikeouts in five innings before leaving without a decision in a 3-2 loss at Boston on Aug. 2.
The left-hander was returned to the minors after that performance, and won his only outing for Columbus by allowing three runs in 6 2-3 innings.
His only victory of this season with the Indians came against the Twins on July 18, when he tossed seven scoreless innings in a 5-2 win at Target Field. However, he's 1-3 with a 7.29 ERA in four home meetings.
The Twins, losers of 11 of 13, are also filling a spot in the rotation due to injury with Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.91) taking the mound instead of Scott Baker, who went on the DL Tuesday with a strained elbow.
The timing may be ideal for Slowey's first start of the season since he's 5-0 with a 2.35 ERA in six starts against the Indians, winning all three in Cleveland behind a 2.00 ERA.
Slowey, recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday, is returning from an abdominal strain that landed him on the disabled list May 26, six days after his most recent appearance for Minnesota.
The right-hander went 1-2 with a 3.55 in seven starts for Rochester during his rehabilitation stint.
With the Twins, Slowey has been reduced to six relief appearances in 2011 after spending the majority of his four previous years as a member of the rotation.
The Associated Press News Service
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