With the Minnesota Twins on the verge of their longest winning streak in almost 10 months, Samuel Deduno hopes to add to an outstanding stretch by their rotation in his first start since August.
Deduno will try to make the most of his opportunity by leading the visiting Twins to a fourth straight win Tuesday night while dealing the light-hitting Cleveland Indians their ninth loss in 11 games.
Minnesota starters have posted a 1.84 ERA with one complete game over their last four outings after Kyle Gibson allowed two hits over seven innings in a 1-0, 10-inning victory Monday.
Eduardo Escobar hit a go-ahead home run off Cleveland closer John Axford in the 10th as the Twins (15-15) took the opener of this four-game set at Progressive Field.
''He can swing it, we've all seen that,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''You watch him in batting practice, he hits them as far as anybody. It's a big moment.''
Now the Twins will turn to Deduno (0-1, 2.89 ERA) as they try to win four in a row for the first time since July 13-20. The right-hander replaces Mike Pelfrey, who was ineffective in five starts before going on the disabled list with a groin injury.
Deduno was 7-4 with a 3.17 ERA in his first 13 starts in 2013, but went 1-4 with a 5.96 ERA over his last five before undergoing shoulder surgery in September. After giving up three runs over 14 2-3 innings in his first six relief appearances this season, he allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to score that many over four innings in Thursday's 9-4 home loss.
The right-hander has gone 3-2 with a 3.89 ERA in seven career games - six starts - against the Indians (13-19). In his most recent start in Cleveland, he held them to one run and three hits over six innings in a 5-1 victory Aug. 13.
Nick Swisher is 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and Carlos Santana has gone 2 for 13 lifetime against Deduno. Swisher has been mired in a 2-for-25 slump overall, while Santana is hitting just .150 on the season.
The AL Central-worst Indians have a .202 average while losing eight of their last 10. Aside from a 12-run outburst to beat the Chicago White Sox on Friday, they've also totaled just 18 runs over that same span.
''We're fairly inconsistent right now,'' manager Terry Francona said. ''Even in hitters' counts, we're not getting real good swings."
Cleveland could be without Michael Bourn again after he missed the past two games with a tight hamstring - the same one he had surgically repaired in October. The speedy leadoff man batted .315 with eight RBIs in 2013 against the Twins.
With Carlos Carrasco moving to the bullpen, the Indians are expected to call on Josh Tomlin to make his first start since July 27, 2012 - three weeks before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The right-hander has gone 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA at Triple-A Columbus in 2014 after throwing two scoreless innings in one relief appearance in the majors last season. But he's 1-3 with a 7.67 ERA in six games - including five starts - against the Twins.
Joe Mauer has hit Tomlin well with six hits in 13 lifetime at-bats, though he could be held out again after missing the opener with back spasms. Mauer is hitting .394 over his last nine games overall and is 11 for 20 in his last four versus Cleveland.