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PREVIEW: Indians return home to take on Twins

CLEVELAND– The Cleveland Indians (74-56) return home to take on the Minnesota Twins (61-69) on Tuesday night to begin a three-game series.

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Starting Pitchers: CLE Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.55) vs. MIN Kyle Gibson (7-10, 3.63)

TV:  SportsTime Ohio

Online: MLB.TV

Radio: WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM, Indians Radio Network

1. Kipnis’ success against Gibson

The Indians are coming off a 12-5 win over the Royals on Sunday, when Jason Kipnis had one of his better games of 2018. The second baseman went 4-for-5 from the plate, including a double, an inside-the-park home run and four RBIs.

Kipnis has done very well against Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson during his career, so Monday could provide him an opportunity to keep up that momentum. Kipnis has a .419 career batting average against Gibson (13-for-31) with a home run, two doubles and 10 walks.

2. Cookie on the mound

Carlos Carrasco will get the start for Cleveland, coming off of a loss to the Boston Red Sox last week. The Tribe fell 10-4 last Wednesday, and Carrasco only pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) and eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

This will be Carrasco’s sixth start of the year against Minnesota. In 22 career appearances against Minnesota, Carrasco is 6-9 with a 4.00 ERA.

3. Can the Indians assert their dominance?

The Tribe has been absolutely dominant against the AL Central in 2018, cruising to a 38-19 record against the rest of the division en route to clinching it for their third straight year.

But for as dominant as they have been as a whole, the Indians have struggled against the Twins in comparison to any other AL Central team. They are just 8-8 facing Minnesota, compared to 30-11 (.732) against the rest of the division. This is the last series Cleveland has against the Twins this season.

Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers the Cavs for SB Nation's Fear The Sword. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42

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