CHICAGO -- The Tribe could play a key role in deciding the American League Central this season. Beginning with their matchup on Monday, the Indians will face the White Sox six times down the stretch.
Entering Monday, Chicago led the division by just one game over the rival Tigers. Cleveland plans on doing everything in its power to make the White Sox earn a trip back to the postseason.
"That's what we're doing," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We'll try to put the best team on the field. You've got to respect the game."
For the opener of the three-game set, the Indians only had four players -- right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, second baseman Jason Kipnis, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and catcher Carlos Santana -- in the lineup who were among the starting nine on Opening Day.
Veteran designated hitter Travis Hafner, who recently returned from a back injury, was on the bench. Acta noted that he did not like matching Hafner up against tough White Sox lefty Chris Sale.
Center fielder Michael Brantley was out of the lineup because of a sore groin.
"He's probably going to need a day or two," Acta said of Brantley.