Two 13-game winners will take the mound Thursday afternoon as the Indians try to continue their climb into the American League playoff picture.
Cleveland's Corey Kluber will be opposing Minnesota's Phil Hughes in the series finale at Target Field. The Indians find themselves 4 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and one win away from a sweep of the Twins at Target Field.
Kluber struck out 10 and allowed only one run over 7 2/3 innings in his last start against Baltimore. In his last 10 starts, the right-hander is 8-2 with a miniscule 1.19 ERA.
He continues to pitch himself into the AL Cy Young Award discussion. And his manager, Terry Francona, is running out of ways to describe him.
"My vocabulary's not that good, but I would attempt to," Francona said. "He's just worked himself into being one of the premier pitchers in the game."
Hughes has been on a nice run of his own lately. He's responded to a rough patch of seven starts, over which he posted a 6.31 ERA, by tossing four quality starts in a row. In his last start, the right-hander gave up one run off seven hits.
Hughes has gone an impressive 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his previous three starts, while dealing with a cracked nail on his right index finger.
"I feel pretty good right now," Hughes said. "I've been in a pretty good stretch."
Indians: Gomes impressing Francona almost daily
If it were possible, Francona would probably pencil Yan Gomes' name into the lineup every single day. That is not how to handle an everyday catcher, though, and Gomes received a well-deserved day off from starting on Wednesday against the Twins.
Gomes has been a steady performer at the plate all season long, but the young catcher has been on a tear in the batter's box in the season's second half. Francona will never admit to being surprised by such a development.
"I think he's been pretty consistent, especially for a guy that swings a lot," Francona said. "He takes good care of himself. He's a strong kid and he's prepared for this. He wanted this opportunity. This is why we wanted him to be our catcher."
Twins: Dozier joins 20/20 club
Brian Dozier became just the sixth Twins player to record a 20/20 season of at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases with his 20th steal of the season on Wednesday against the Indians.
Dozier became the first Twins player to accomplish the feat since Torii Hunter did it in 2004. Hunter also did it in 2002 and is the only Twins player to have at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in more than one season. The other Twins to reach the mark are Larry Hisle in 1977, Kirby Puckett in 1986, Marty Cordova in 1995 and Corey Koskie in 2001.
• Kluber has gone at least six innings with no more than one earned run allowed in five consecutive starts.
• Minnesota will have ample opportunity to play spoiler over the season's last month-plus. Of its final 37 games, 28 are against teams involved in playoff races.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.