No player is more important to that run than starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, who is starting to pitch like the ace the Indians thought they were getting in last summer's blockbuster trade with the Rockies.
Jimenez, who is making his second career start against Tampa Bay on Saturday, is 2-3 in his last six starts with a 2.93 ERA in 40 innings. The righty has struck out 36 and walked just 15 and has given up 33 hits.
"He's pitching like a No. 2 or No. 1 guy right now," Indians manager Manny Acta said.
The same could be said about Matt Moore, who will take the mound for Tampa Bay. The southpaw is 4-3 in his last 10 starts, with a 3.28 ERA. In that span, Moore has struck out 65 hitters.
"If he gets by that first batter successfully, his confidence continues to get up even higher," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "As the game continues and he's putting up some zeros, his confidence continues, and that's typical young guy stuff. As he starts believing in his stuff and trusting in himself, you're going to see him take off. He's more in control of his emotions, a little more deliberate."
Indians: Choo shining in leadoff role
• Shin-Soo Choo's led off Thursday's game with a homer and began Friday's with a single. It's become the norm for the Indians' thriving leadoff hitter.
Since moving to the top of the order on May 14, Choo is hitting .330 with eight homers and 21 RBIs.
"He's been phenomenal," Indians center fielder Michael Brantley said. "It's just nice to have someone always on base for your two, three, four guys coming up. It's a big boost."
Tampa Bay: Slugger rehabbing well
• Designated hitter Hideki Matsui's left hamstring is feeling better.
"Yesterday, I was able to pinch-hit. Everything was fine. I feel fine right now," Matsui said through an interpreter. "For the remainder of the first half, I should be able to pinch-hit. After the All-Star break, I should be able to go 100 percent."
Matsui left a July 2 game against the Yankees early due to tightness in his hamstring.
• Maddon met with pitching coach Jim Hickey Friday to determine the starting rotation for after the All-Star break.
• The Indians activated outfielder Shelley Duncan from the paternity list on Friday, just one day after his wife, Elyse, gave birth to twin boys. To make room, Cleveland sent infielder Jason Donald to Triple-A Columbus.