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CLEVELAND — Cody Allen is one of the least acclaimed yet most productive closers in the major leagues. On Friday night. when the Cleveland Indians open a three-game series with the Oakland A’s <a title="Bo Jackson Jersey" href="http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/bo-jackson-jersey-cheap">Bo Jackson Jersey</a> , Allen will be in uniform at Progressive Field for the first time as the Indians’ career saves leader.
In pitching the ninth inning of a 3-2 Cleveland win in Kansas City on Wednesday, Allen posted his 140th career save, breaking Bob Wickman’s franchise record of 139, which had stood since 2006.
“He means so much to all of us,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Allen. “This is a kid who was drafted in the 16th round, but through being a consummate professional, he’s now the Indians’ all-time leader. That’s pretty awesome. It’s a big accomplishment, and he’s not close to being done.”
Allen (2-3 <a title="Joe Berger Jersey" href="http://www.vikingscheapstore.com/joe-berger-jersey-cheap">Joe Berger Jersey</a> , 3.38 ERA) ranks seventh in the American League this year with 18 saves, but his year-in, year-out consistency has been his trademark. He has had at least 30 saves in each of the last three seasons. Only two other closers in the majors can say that: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen and Boston’s Craig Kimbrel.
“This is something I’m extremely proud of,” Allen said of passing Wickman as the club’s saves leader. “It’s something I get to hang my hat on for my career. It’s very cool.”
The A’s (48-39) come to Cleveland with nearly the same record as the Indians (48-37), but what a difference a division makes. The first-place Indians lead the AL Central by 11 1/2 games. The A’s are in third in the AL West, 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros.
The A’s won two of three games from the Indians last weekend in Oakland. That was part of a longer streak in which the A’s have won eight of their last nine. Since June 16, Oakland is 14-3.
“I think we’re having a lot of fun,” A’s third baseman Matt Chapman told MLB.com <a title="Josh Robinson Jersey" href="http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/josh-robinson-jersey-cheap">Josh Robinson Jersey</a> , “and no matter what the score is, I don’t think we count ourselves out. There’s no panic in the dugout. We just keep playing our game. We trust that we’re a good team.”
On Friday night, the A’s will send Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46 ERA) to the mound. In his last start on June 29 in Oakland, Blackburn baffled the Indians, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just three hits in a 3-1 victory.
Blackburn has started five major league games this year. In the one against Cleveland, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .150. In the other four starts, he’s 1-2 with an 8.83 ERA and an opponents’ batting average of .324. In two career starts against the Indians <a title="Mark Herzlich Jersey" href="http://www.giantscheapstore.com/mark-herzlich-jersey-cheap">Mark Herzlich Jersey</a> , Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24), who will make his first start since June 16, a 9-3 loss to Minnesota in which he was knocked out of the game in the second inning after getting hit in the right arm by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer.
Carrasco was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day with a right elbow contusion. He made one rehab start at Double-A Akron on June 30, pitching four scoreless innings and giving up one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.
Carrasco’s last legitimate start was his best start of the year, a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 11. In that game, he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up two hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.
In six career appearances, including five starts <a title="Daniel Sorensen Jersey" href="http://www.chiefscheapstore.com/daniel-sorensen-jersey-cheap">Daniel Sorensen Jersey</a> , against Oakland, Carrasco is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have placed cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste and offensive tackle Greg Senat on injured reserve, ending their 2018 seasons.
Baltimore also put safety DeShon Elliott and defensive back Bennett Jackson on IR as part of a series of moves Friday that trimmed 17 players from the roster.
The final cuts will come Saturday.
Jean-Baptiste broke his arm in Thursday night’s 30-20 preseason victory over Washington. Senat has a foot injury.
Three players are on the physically unable to perform list and 10 were waived, including safety Kai Nacua, who returned an interception for a touchdown against the Redskins.
The other cuts: cornerbacks Jackson Porter and Robertson Daniel; offensive linemen Andrew Donnal and Justin Evans; defensive end Christian LaCouture; receiver DeVier Posey; tight end Nick Keizer; linebacker Alvin Jones; and long snapper Trent Sieg.
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