Cleveland Indians' Lonnie Chisenhall celebrates his solo home run with Jason Kipnis at home plate in the second inning on June 27 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
CLEVELAND -- There is no team Edwin Jackson enjoys facing more than the one he will face Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field. The 34-year-old right-hander will be on the mound for the Oakland A's, facing a Cleveland Indians team Jackson has beaten 10 times in a row.
It's been more than 10 years since Jackson lost to Cleveland. The last time, and the only time, he lost to the Indians was on Aug. 17, 2007, when Jackson was pitching for Tampa Bay.
Since then, Jackson is 10-0 against the Indians. In 16 career appearances against Cleveland, Jackson is 10-1 with a 2.76 ERA. His 10 wins against the Indians match his most victories against any opponent. He has also beaten Pittsburgh 10 times.
Jackson's 10-game winning streak against Cleveland is the longest by any pitcher against the Indians since Charlie Hough won 13 in a row from June 30, 1984, to April 4, 1988.
If all that wasn't impressive enough, Jackson's record in eight career appearances at Progressive Field is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA.
The A's signed Jackson to a minor league contract in early June, and called him up to the majors on June 23. He is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA overall this season after making two starts for Oakland.
"Based on the way he was available and the way he's been able to pitch for us it's a surprise, but he's always been able to do that a little bit with the sinker and the four-seamer," A's manager Bob Melvin said, according to USA Today.
"Now he just manipulates a little bit more and the off-speed stuff with the changeup speed and the slider. It really keeps you off-balance."
Jackson's last start was against the Indians, and it resulted in a 7-2 victory in Oakland on June 30. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, with six strikeouts.
The Indians will start ace Corey Kluber on Saturday. Kluber (12-4, 2.64 ERA) started the season very strong, but has had a couple of tough outings over his last four starts. In his first 14 starts, Kluber was 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA. However, in his last four starts he is 2-2, with a 5.95 ERA.
Kluber's last start was a 9-3 win over Kansas City on Monday, a game in which Kluber pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
In two starts against the A's last year Kluber was 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA. In eight career appearances, including seven starts, against Oakland he is 2-4 with a 2.66 ERA.
The Indians won the first game of the series 10-4 Friday night. In the last two meetings between the two teams Cleveland has outscored Oakland 25-7.
The Indians on Friday designated for assignment reliever George Kontos to clear a roster spot for pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who was activated off the disabled list and started Friday's game.
The Indians will be adding another player in the not too distant future. The team has signed outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league contract as an eventual replacement for outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with a left calf strain.
"It's a significant strain. He's going to miss considerable time," said Indians manager Terry Francona.
Cabrera played 17 games with the Indians earlier this season, hitting .207. He was designated for assignment on June 14. He had three hits Thursday in his first game at Triple-A Columbus.
"Three hits in his first game is pretty phenomenal," Francona said. "We want to let him get his legs under him, but when he signed he knew he wasn't going to stay (at Columbus) forever. So at some point we'll have to make a decision (on how to add Cabrera to the major league roster)."