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Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: Cleveland Indians


vs. Indians


What's new: The Indians continue to be the biggest surprise in baseball, riding a better-than-you-think offense, a power-armed bullpen and an unheralded rotation to the best record in the majors. DH Travis Hafner (strained oblique) went on the disabled list last week, but they are expected to get CF Grady Sizemore (right knee bruise) back this weekend. SS Asdrubal Cabrera has emerged as one of the league's best all-around players, and OF Shin-Soo Choo and C Carlos Santana are special, too. 2B Orlando Cabrera adds presence and attitude.

Key stat: Cabrera has 10 home runs in 193 at-bats this season; he had 18 in his first 1,412 over his first four seasons.

Connections: Rays C Kelly Shoppach and 1B coach George Hendrick played for the Indians; hitting coach Derek Shelton was a coach. … Indians RHP Mitch Talbot was acquired from the Rays for Shoppach. … closer Chris Perez is from Bradenton, 1B Matt LaPorta from Port Charlotte.

Series history: Indians lead 68-40 overall, 28-24 at the Trop.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: Cleveland Indians 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:12pm]
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