With the Twins sending Liriano to the White Sox, fellow left-hander Brian Duensing will step in to make the start and attempt to lift Minnesota to a three-game sweep. It will be Duensing's first start since July 15 and fifth this season, to go along with 33 relief appearances.
Duensing owns a 10.13 ERA as a starter this season, getting rocked for 23 hits and five home runs in 13 innings. His last opportunity, against the A's, ended after he surrendered six runs in two innings.
"I felt fine in the bullpen -- I threw a no-hitter in the bullpen," Duensing said afterward. "I don't know. Somehow it just didn't transfer today. It was just a really bad day."
The Indians, third in the American League Central, have lost two straight to begin the series and seven of 10 overall. They will hope Jimenez can build off his last start, Tuesday against the Tigers, when he held the opposition scoreless for only the fourth time in 34 starts with Cleveland.
"I thought Jimenez was the best I've seen him since he joined Cleveland, against us," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said after his team managed seven hits over six innings. "He had a good split. But we had some chances. We just couldn't do it."
Indians: Division crown remains the goal
Indians manager Manny Acta is far from ready to shift his team's focus to the Wild Card race, where the Tribe trails the A's and four other clubs for the second berth.
"I don't want to hear about the Wild Card, please guys," Acta told reporters before Saturday's game. "Don't talk to me about the Wild Card until I've been eliminated from winning my division. The Wild Card should be a fallback for teams that don't win their division. You can quote me on that. Are you kidding me? Five games out and people want you to change your goals already to the Wild Card."
Outfielder Aaron Cunningham, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday to open a roster spot for utility man Brent Lillibridge, was sent outright to Triple-A Columbus on Saturday after clearing waivers. Lillibridge, whom the Indians acquired from the Red Sox on Tuesday, made his first start with his new team on Saturday, filling in for Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop.
Twins: Plouffe injury gives Valencia another shot
Third baseman Danny Valencia was hitting .190 with one home run and 11 RBIs when the Twins optioned him to Triple-A Rochester on May 9. Now he will get a second chance after Minnesota recalled him on Saturday.
"I've always felt I was part of this team," said Valencia, who had been in the Majors since June 2010. "So it's nice to be back here. It's good group of guys. They all play hard. I'm just happy to be back and be able to compete with them and help them get some wins."
Valencia is filling the roster spot of the injured Trevor Plouffe, and he batted seventh and played third base on Saturday, going 1-for-4 with an RBI double. That hit stopped an 0-for-28 skid at the big league level.
Valencia hit only .250 with a .688 OPS in 69 games with Rochester, although he did homer seven times and drive in a team-best 37 runs. He confirmed that the demotion was a humbling experience.
"You never want to be sent down to the Minor Leagues," Valencia said. "Obviously you realize how nice it is up here and what you strive for and what you work for. So it's nice to be back."
Ben Revere carries an 11-game hit streak into Sunday, tied for the second-longest streak of his career. His high of 13 games came last September.
After this game, these two teams will meet again Aug. 6-8 in Cleveland. The Twins lead the season series 4-3.
Duensing's last appearance came on Monday against the White Sox, when he threw four scoreless innings of relief, giving up three hits and no walks and striking out two.