. UP NEXT
What's new: The Indians, despite losing two of three to the Blue Jays, have been unexpected contenders in the American League Central. They have a tidy defense (third-best in the AL), a patient offense (first in walks, third in on-base percentage) and a lockdown combo at the back end of the bullpen (Vinnie Pestano and All-Star Chris Perez). Plus, they've started hitting more homers. Playing seven straight games on turf after coming from Toronto is an issue; the Indians are juggling their lineup a bit, resting DH Travis Hafner and others. All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera is one of the game's most exciting players.
Key stat: The Indians are 17-0 when leading after six innings on the road.
Connections: Indians 1B Casey Kotchman (a Seminole High product) and OF Johnny Damon were Rays in 2011; Perez is from Bradenton. Rays coaches Derek Shelton and George Hendrick are former Indians.
Series history: 2-2 this season; Indians lead 71-44 overall, 29-26 at Tropicana Field.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer