If their current downward trend continues, the Cleveland Guardians will soon fall out of playoff contention.

The Guardians, who led the AL Central Division by one game over the Minnesota Twins, are just 5-14 since then.

Cleveland lost six of seven games on the just-completed road trip against the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, bottom feeders in the AL Central Division. The Guardians return home to begin a four-game series with the Chicago White Sox for what might be a battle for second place in the division.

Right-hander Cal Quantrill (4-5, 3.86 ERA) will open Cleveland’s eight-game homestand, to be opposed by right-hander Lance Lynn (1-1, 5.33).

Quantrill is 0-1 with a 2.03 ERA in eight career appearances, including four starts, against the White Sox.

Lynn is 4-3 with a 3.19 ERA in eight career starts vs. the Guardians, including 1-2 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts at Progressive Field.

The veteran missed the start of the season with a tear in a tendon in his right knee and had minor surgery. He missed about two months.

Chicago catcher Yasmani Grandal is on a rehab assignment at Double-A Birmingham. He suffered from lower back spasms and went on the injured list June 13, retroactive to June 12.

Guardians first baseman/designated hitter Josh Naylor was a late scratch from the starting lineup with lower back discomfort on Sunday before the 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Naylor has been dealing with back soreness since the first game of the July 4 doubleheader in Detroit.

Although he has worked his way back into the lineup since then, he’s still battling some discomfort.

Right fielder Oscar Gonzalez (abdominal strain) has been on the IL for about a week. His MRI revealed some mild swelling near his ribs. He has advanced to light lifting and cardio activities and is progressing well, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. The team doesn’t have a timetable for his return.

A day after the Guardians erupted for a season-high 23 hits on Saturday in a 13-1 romp over the Royals, they were stymied on Sunday by Kansas City’s Zack Greinke and four relievers, managing only one run and five hits.

“I think (Greinke) kind of out-veteraned us,” Francona said. “He started by expanding with that breaking ball down and then got into the game and got his rhythm down with everything and just spun it off his fastball.”

Cleveland’s only run scored on a wild pitch.

Three Guardians earned spots on the AL All-Star team: Jose Ramirez, Andres Gimenez and Emmanuel Clase. The White Sox’s Tim Anderson will start at shortstop for the AL.

Chicago will close the first half with an eight-game, seven-day road trip to Cleveland and Minnesota.

Both Jose Abreu and Luis Robert had long hitting streaks come to an end in Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Abreu went 0-for-3, snapping a 14-game run. During the streak, he batted .439 (25-for-57), with eight doubles, a home run, eight RBIs and 10 runs.

He’s batting .292 on the season.

The Guardians are 4-1 against the White Sox this season, 3-0 in Cleveland. Chicago is batting .174 in Cleveland and has been outscored 32-18 in the five games. The White Sox own a 4.09 ERA against the Guardians.

Chicago has dominated the AL Central in 2020 and 2021 with a 69-47 record. However, it is just 13-16 in the division in 2022.

–Field Level Media