Salazar, Indians bid for series victory against Sox
The Indians will send the final piece of their big three to the mound in right-hander Danny Salazar for the rubber game against the Red Sox on Thursday at Progressive Field.
After starting last season in the Minors, Salazar wound up making 30 starts and winning 14 games for the Tribe. He just missed 200 strikeouts, finishing with 195 in 185 innings.
Joe Kelly, who will start for the Red Sox, did the opposite of Salazar last season, opening the season in the rotation and then getting sent to Triple-A. To Kelly's credit, he earned a trip back to Boston and finished the season on one of the best stretches of his career, going 8-0 with a 2.59 ERA from Aug. 1-Sept. 9.
Things to know about this game • Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor hit third on Tuesday against lefty David Price, but then served as the leadoff man for Wednesday's game against Boston righty Clay Buchholz. Manager Terry Francona plans on mixing and matching with his lineup, especially until left fielder Michael Brantley (right shoulder) returns from the disabled list.
• With Kelly on the mound, expect Ryan Hanigan to make his first start of the season behind the plate for the Red Sox. Kelly had a 4.20 ERA pitching to Hanigan last year, compared to 5.10 with Blake Swihart.
• The Indians' late-inning options include closer Cody Allen, along with and right-handers Bryan Shaw, Zach McAllister and Jeff Manship. Francona said it will take time to determine what kind of roles relievers Ross Detwiler (the lone lefty), Joba Chamberlain, Dan Otero and Trevor Bauer will fill.