Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Chi. White Sox at Cleveland
When: 7:10 PM ET, Thursday, September 20, 2018
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

Jason Kipnis hopes to get on a roll in the final month of the season while solidifying a spot somewhere in the Cleveland Indians’ postseason lineup, and he made a major statement with a walk-off grand slam Wednesday. Kipnis looks to build on those heroics Thursday night as the Indians go for a three-game sweep of the visiting Chicago White Sox and try to improve on a 12-3 edge in the season series.

Kipnis, who is batting .229 after notching his 1,000th career hit Wednesday with the slam, has been moved to center field after the acquisition of third baseman Josh Donaldson pushed Jose Ramirez to second base. Josh Tomlin gets the call on the mound for American League Central champion Cleveland in the series finale while the White Sox counter with fellow veteran James Shields, who is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two games against the Indians this season. Chicago lost for the third straight contest after a four-game winning streak, going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine on base in Wednesday’s setback. White Sox outfielder Daniel Palka homered for the fourth time in the last three games Wednesday to push his total to a team-high 26, tying Matt Davidson (2017) for the fourth most by a rookie in franchise history and moving within one of Zeke Bonura (1934) for third.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCS Chicago, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH James Shields (7-16, 4.53 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (1-5, 6.49)

Shields has won two of his last three starts, including last Friday when he limited Baltimore to two runs and four hits over six innings for his 145th career victory. The 36-year-old California native has held opponents to three runs or fewer in five of his last seven starts, beginning with seven innings of three-run ball against Cleveland on Aug. 11. Francisco Lindor is 6-for-13 with a homer versus Shields, who is 5-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 22 career games against Cleveland.

Tomlin makes his second straight start after spending the previous four months either in the bullpen or on the disabled list. The 33-year-old Texan, who is 0-3 with a 7.68 ERA in seven starts in 2018, gave up two runs on five hits and one walk over four innings against Detroit in a no-decision last Friday after earning a win in relief on Sept. 8. Davidson is 2-for-8 with a homer against Tomlin, who is 5-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 16 games (13 starts) versus the White Sox.

WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago 2B Yoan Moncada is 12-for-40 with two RBIs and three walks over his last 10 contests.

2. Donaldson had a single and a walk in Wednesday victory, but is just 3-for-18 with one homer since being acquired.

3. White Sox OF Nicky Delmonico (stiff neck) missed the first two games of the series and is questionable for the finale.

PREDICTION: White Sox 6, Indians 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Chi. White Sox 59-92 L3 28-47 31-45 16-16 28-40 10-24 5-12
Cleveland 85-66 W2 47-30 38-36 14-17 45-23 14-18 12-8
Last Meeting
Chi. White Sox Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/19/18 CHW 1 CLE 4 .143 1 .418 .161 1 .568
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. White Sox Y. Moncada .241 13 .707
Cleveland Y. Alonso .333 19 .818
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. White Sox D. Palka 4 7 5
Cleveland J. Ramirez 5 11 10
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. White Sox 5.16 .189 95
Cleveland 2.45 .280 174
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. White Sox J. Abreu .265 132 .798
Cleveland M. Brantley .304 162 .827
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. White Sox D. Palka 26 53 62
Cleveland J. Ramirez 38 102 101
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. White Sox 4.77 .242 1171
Cleveland 3.77 .256 1438