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PREVIEW: Carrasco returns to the mound as the Indians return home to take on the Oakland A’s

CLEVELAND– The Indians return home and kick off a 10-game homestand on Friday night in a showdown with the Oakland A’s.

Time: 7:10 p.m.

Starting Pitchers: CLE Carlos Carrasco (4.24, 8-5) vs. OAK Paul Blackburn (6.46, 2-2)

TV:  SportsTime Ohio

Online: MLB.TV

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

1. Cookie’s back

Carlos Carrasco makes his return to the mound on Friday night. He was hit in the right arm with a line drive on June 16 against the Twins and has been on the disabled list since. In his first outing since he took the line drive, there will be plenty to look out for, especially considering he was hit in his throwing arm. Carrasco was still credited with the loss against Minnesota even though he exited early. He will be looking for his first win since June 11 when the Indians topped the White Sox 4-0.

2. Rematch with Oakland

The Indians just faced off with the A’s in Oakland last week, and struggled to put up runs against them on the road; however, since the July 1 game when they won 15-3, they have been on an offensive tear scoring a combined 33 runs. Friday will give them an opportunity to get some payback for those two losses to Oakland in the first two games of the last series, when they scored a combined three runs.

3. Keeping momentum heading into the All-Star break

The Indians have 10 games at home against the A’s, the Reds and the Yankees just before the mid-season All-Star break.

The Tribe is currently 11 games above .500 (48-37) and have gone 12-4 over the last three weeks with two losses to St. Louis and Oakland. They appear to be cruising in the AL Central, and a strong homestand will hopefully give them some momentum heading into the second half of the 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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