Sandy Alomar Jr. is one of the candidates who will be interviewed for the Cleveland Indians' managerial position for next season. In the interim role, he hopes to make his case for it being permanent.
After helping Alomar earn his first victory as manager, the Indians will try to match their longest winning streak of the season at four games Saturday night when they continue their series against the Kansas City Royals.Cleveland fired Manny Acta after nearly three years Thursday, handing Alomar the title of interim manager.Before the game, general manager Chris Antonetti said Alomar and former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who spent 2001 as an Indians front office assistant, top the list of candidates for the full-time job.In Alomar's debut, Cleveland (66-91) hitters broke out in an 8-5 victory Friday as the Indians posted their first three-game winning streak since July 3-5.The Indians scored three runs in the second and Jason Kipnis added a two-run double in the fifth to make it 8-1. Cord Phelps, Lonnie Chisenhall and Ezequiel Carrera each had three hits and an RBI.It was the second time Cleveland recorded 16 hits -- its third-most this season -- against the Royals this month."Obviously not every day is going to be this way," Alomar said. "Some will be more stressful. Kansas City came back and made it interesting and it was, 'OK, we've got to do some thinking here.'"Cleveland hasn't won four straight since June 18-22, but after a 5-24 August in which it averaged 3.3 runs and hit .231, the Indians have put up 5.7 runs per game and batted .303 over their last 11.While Cleveland tries to end the season on a positive note, Kansas City (70-87) has dropped six straight while being outscored 41-19. Alex Gordon had three hits and Billy Butler hit a two-run homer Friday, but Will Smith gave up six runs and nine hits in three-plus innings.The Royals will try to snap their skid behind Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 5.06 ERA).Odorizzi pitched into the sixth in his major league debut against Cleveland on Sunday when fans got their first look at the 22-year-old right-hander who was acquired in the trade that sent Zack Greinke to Milwaukee.After holding the Indians to a pair of singles through five scoreless innings, he ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up three runs and four hits, including a home run in a 15-4 loss."I was proud of him," manager Ned Yost said. "I thought he did an outstanding job for his first start. He's got all the intangibles. He fields his positions. He commands the baseball. He changes speeds. He's got great composure and a great competitive nature."Jeanmar Gomez (5-8, 5.54) counters for the Indians in his first start since Sept. 12.Gomez pitched a hitless one-inning relief appearance against Kansas City last Saturday. He's taking the rotation spot of Ubaldo Jimenez, who is done for the season with a sprained ankle.The right-hander was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two starts against the Royals this year, giving up six runs and 10 hits in seven innings. In seven career starts against them, he's never gone further than the sixth inning.
Shin-Soo Choo is batting .326 with a .921 OPS against right-handed pitching and just .191 with a .591 OPS against left-handed pitching this season. He faces Royals righty Jake Odorizzi Saturday in Cleveland.