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Rotation driving Indians, giving bullpen a break

MLB.com

DETROIT -- While the city of Cleveland is still celebrating its first major sports championship in 52 years, its baseball team is enjoying a streak of hot starting pitching. Indians starters threw back-to-back complete games to bring the club's winning streak to six games heading into a 10-game road trip.

The Indians allowed 11 runs during their six-game homestand, bringing their team ERA to 3.57 entering Friday, tops in the American League and sixth in the Majors.

Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- While the city of Cleveland is still celebrating its first major sports championship in 52 years, its baseball team is enjoying a streak of hot starting pitching. Indians starters threw back-to-back complete games to bring the club's winning streak to six games heading into a 10-game road trip.

The Indians allowed 11 runs during their six-game homestand, bringing their team ERA to 3.57 entering Friday, tops in the American League and sixth in the Majors.

Full Game Coverage

Entering its series vs. Detroit, Cleveland's pitching staff led all of baseball in ERA, opponent batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage over the last week.

Video: TB@CLE: Bauer gets final out, notching complete game

The Indians' bullpen threw just nine innings the past week and allowed just one run. Manager Terry Francona said it has been nice getting strong performances from his starters lately, giving the bullpen a little extra rest.

"We'll probably do whatever we have to, to win, but when your starters are going deep, it makes everyone's life a lot better," Francona said. "You take it when you get it, because it's not always like that. But when you have some runs like that, like say if the bullpen guys get a little bit rusty, come August they'll be fine because everybody gets used."

Francona is pleased with the status of his pitching staff as of late, but he knew things would get a little tougher this weekend with a three-game series at Detroit. The Tigers entered Friday riding a four-game winning streak of their own, scoring 22 runs on 45 hits during that span. Francona said Detroit is a much different team than the one Cleveland faced back in May and April. The Tribe entered this series 6-0 against its division rival this year.

"They're definitely swinging the bats," the manager said. "You look up and down the lineup, and you see a lot of .300's with some production, so they're playing pretty well."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit.

 

Cleveland Indians