CLEVELAND â€" Cody Allen is one of the least acclaimed yet most productive closers in the major leagues. On Friday night. when the Cleveland Indians open a three-game series with the Oakland Aâ€™s Authentic Will Hernandez Jersey , Allen will be in uniform at Progressive Field for the first time as the Indiansâ€™ career saves leader.
In pitching the ninth inning of a 3-2 Cleveland win in Kansas City on Wednesday, Allen posted his 140th career save, breaking Bob Wickmanâ€™s franchise record of 139, which had stood since 2006.
â€śHe means so much to all of us,â€ť Cleveland manager Terry Francona said of Allen. â€śThis is a kid who was drafted in the 16th round, but through being a consummate professional, heâ€™s now the Indiansâ€™ all-time leader. Thatâ€™s pretty awesome. Itâ€™s a big accomplishment, and heâ€™s not close to being done.â€ť
Allen (2-3, 3.38 ERA) ranks seventh in the American League this year with 18 saves Authentic Mark Andrews Jersey , but his year-in, year-out consistency has been his trademark. He has had at least 30 saves in each of the last three seasons. Only two other closers in the majors can say that: the Los Angeles Dodgersâ€™ Kenley Jansen and Bostonâ€™s Craig Kimbrel.
â€śThis is something Iâ€™m extremely proud of,â€ť Allen said of passing Wickman as the clubâ€™s saves leader. â€śItâ€™s something I get to hang my hat on for my career. Itâ€™s very cool.â€ť
The Aâ€™s (48-39) come to Cleveland with nearly the same record as the Indians (48-37), but what a difference a division makes. The first-place Indians lead the AL Central by 11 1/2 games. The Aâ€™s are in third in the AL West, 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros.
The Aâ€™s won two of three games from the Indians last weekend in Oakland. That was part of a longer streak in which the Aâ€™s have won eight of their last nine. Since June 16, Oakland is 14-3.
â€śI think weâ€™re having a lot of fun,â€ť Aâ€™s third baseman Matt Chapman told MLB.com, â€śand no matter what the score is, I donâ€™t think we count ourselves out. Thereâ€™s no panic in the dugout. We just keep playing our game. We trust that weâ€™re a good team.â€ť
On Friday night Authentic Robert Griffin III Jersey , the Aâ€™s will send Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46 ERA) to the mound. In his last start on June 29 in Oakland, Blackburn baffled the Indians, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings and giving up just three hits in a 3-1 victory.
Blackburn has started five major league games this year. In the one against Cleveland, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and an opponentsâ€™ batting average of .150. In the other four starts, heâ€™s 1-2 with an 8.83 ERA and an opponentsâ€™ batting average of .324. In two career starts against the Indians, Blackburn is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA.
Cleveland will counter with Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24), who will make his first start since June 16 Authentic Ian Thomas Jersey , a 9-3 loss to Minnesota in which he was knocked out of the game in the second inning after getting hit in the right arm by a line drive off the bat of Joe Mauer.
Carrasco was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day with a right elbow contusion. He made one rehab start at Double-A Akron on June 30, pitching four scoreless innings and giving up one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.
Carrascoâ€™s last legitimate start was his best start of the year, a 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 11. In that game, he pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up two hits and one walk with 11 strikeouts.
In six career appearances, including five starts, against Oakland, Carrasco is 3-1 with a 2.61 ERA.
Philadelphiaâ€™s mayor says he wonâ€™t jinx the Eagles ahead of their Super Bowl appearance by placing the teamâ€™s jersey on the statue of William Penn atop City Hall.
Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney said Tuesday he wants the cityâ€™s football team to win the big game. But his spokesman tells WCAU-TV he didnâ€™t want to risk putting the jersey on the statue.
The city placed a Phillies baseball cap on the statue during the 1993 World Series and a Flyers jersey on the statue during the 1997 Stanley Cup Final. Both teams lost.
The Philadelphia Eagles have never won a Super Bowl. They face the New England Patriots on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.
Kenney says he plans to watch the game in Philadelphia.