The Indians would like to extract themselves from a horrific slump before they get to be known as Team Pronk. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays look forward to two more days of protecting their home turf.

In this case, "turf" is the operative word as the Indians prepare for the middle game of this three-game series, and the penultimate game of their six-game road trip. The trek began in Tampa Bay, meaning it consists of all six games the Tribe will play this season on artificial turf.

Considering they had left their town with a 30-17 record, the Indians' play has been disappointing. They have dropped three of the four games while being outscored 26-8 following Monday night's 11-1 loss to the Jays.

With losses also in its last two home games, Cleveland is on a skid coinciding with the loss of Travis (Pronk) Hafner to an oblique injury.

Indians manager Manny Acta hoped his club would get a lift from Grady Sizemore's return from the DL, but that hasn't yet happened. Acta was forced to bench Sizemore on Monday after his poor weekend showing in Tropicana Field (0-for-12, with seven strikeouts) but intends to have him back in the lineup to face Brandon Morrow.

Morrow, who will be opposed by Mitch Talbot, is a tough guy to escape a rut against. The right-hander has allowed five hits or fewer in five of his seven starts, and was particularly nasty his last time out, when he held the White Sox to a run and four hits through seven innings.

"I really just tried to power the ball down in the zone," Morrow said of that Thursday outing. "I felt like I was throwing straight downhill all game. I had some better movement on my fastball and just keeping it down like that and when I was missing, I was missing down and that's a better spot for me.

"I had an idea of what I was trying to do, was just going about it the wrong way," Morrow added. "I started getting on top of the ball and then powering it down into the zone instead of trying to get myself down and put myself there. I put a better angle on the ball and threw a lot better after that."

Talbot has also thrown a lot better then he did on Wednesday. In his first start after being activated off the DL, he was rocked for 12 hits and eight runs in three innings by the Red Sox.

Indians: Not the right matchup for Marson
• Back-up catcher Lou Marson didn't start against left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes on Monday as Carlos Santana returned behind the plate, and is unlikely to be in there against Morrow -- Marson is 1-for-32 (.031) against right-handed pitching this season.

• Shelley Duncan accounted for the Indians' lone run in Monday's loss by powering a monstrous home run as the starting DH, meaning he couldn't perform his true specialty -- Duncan is 4-for-5 with seven RBIs as a pinch-hitter.

Blue Jays: The collar finds Corey
• Corey Patterson went hitless Monday night, off his 11-for-19 series against Chicago pitching.

Worth noting

When Edwin Encarnacion launched his long overdue first home run of the season Sunday, he did it using one of the bats of, all people, left-handed pitcher Ricky Romero. Romero had recently gotten a fresh shipment of bats in preparation for the resumption of Interleague Play next month. Comments