Scott Kazmir has gone nearly three years without a victory. His current teammates, meanwhile, have done nothing but win lately.
With five straight wins, the Indians hope Kazmir can help continue that run Saturday against the visiting Minnesota Twins.Cleveland (13-13) has been firing on all cylinders during its streak, producing 46 runs and 12 homers while batting .357 despite the absence of injured regulars Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.The pitchers have also done their share, posting a 2.15 ERA. Cleveland starters had allowed five runs over the first four games of the streak before Justin Masterson was reached for five in 6 2/3 innings Friday.That sub-par outing, however, wasn't enough to slow the Indians, who returned to .500 for the first time since April 13 after winning the opener of this three-game set, 7-6 in 10 innings on Drew Stubbs' RBI double -- his fourth hit. Jason Kipnis matched a career high with four RBIs for Cleveland, which seeks its first six-game run since capturing seven in a row April 26-May 3, 2011."It makes you feel really good because he's a very hard worker," manager Terry Francona said of Stubbs. "We got Drew because we love his athleticism, his ability to play the outfield, and the way he runs the bases. And since Bourny went out, he's played Gold Glove-caliber center field -- and I don't think he's getting enough credit for that."This will be the third start of the season for Kazmir (0-1, 8.64 ERA), who's in search of his first win since beating Tampa Bay on Sept. 19, 2010.After pitching poorly in his season debut, the left-hander was much better at Kansas City last Saturday, yielding two runs and five hits over five innings in a 3-2 loss. Kazmir, who spent last season pitching in the independent Atlantic League, hasn't faced the Twins (12-13) since April 29, 2009.Justin Morneau is 5 for 14 with two homers against Kazmir, while reserve infielder Jamey Carroll is 6 for 10.Kazmir will also want to be careful with Trevor Plouffe, who went deep Friday and is batting .395 with five home runs in 12 games at Progressive Field.Cleveland's hot offense should get a boost with Swisher's expected return. The first baseman missed the last three games to rest his sore left shoulder."We didn't take these last (few) days off to get better and then blow it back out again," Swisher told the team's official website. "You want to get this thing behind you, put it in the rearview mirror and then get back in there."The Twins, winners of 12 of 16 against the Indians, will have their most effective starter on the mound as Kevin Correia (3-1, 2.33) looks to win his fourth start in a row.He's turned in five consecutive quality outings and pitched at least seven innings in each appearance. The right-hander scattered six hits -- all singles -- over eight innings and allowed one runner to reach third base in a 5-0 win over Texas on Sunday."Getting balls hit to people right now," Correia said. "Right now it's just going my way."Correia lost his only start against the Indians on June 17, 2011, while with Pittsburgh. He allowed two runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings.Mark Reynolds has the most experience of any Indians player against Correia, going 13 for 44 (.295) with three homers and 18 strikeouts.