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American League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, April 15th (All times Eastern)
Cleveland Indians (2-4) at Kansas City Royals (3-4), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Ubaldo Jimenez (0-0, 2.57) Kansas City - Luis Mendoza (0-1, 1.59)
(Sports Network) - Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez returns from a five-game suspension to make his second start of the season today when the Cleveland Indians visit the Kansas City Royals in the finale of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Jimenez, a 19-game winner with Colorado in 2010, was 6-9 with them last season before a trade deadline deal sent him to Cleveland.
He was 4-4 in 11 starts to end the 2011 schedule and made his initial appearance of 2012 on April 7, getting a no-decision after allowing two runs on a single hit and three walks in seven innings against Toronto.
The Indians lost the game, 7-4.
The 28-year-old Dominican was shelved for five games after intentionally throwing at former Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki in his final start of spring training.
He appealed the suspension and made the season-opening start against the Blue Jays, then dropped the appeal and served the five games - which ended with Saturday's second game of the Royals series.
In that second game, Shin-Soo Choo belted the go-ahead two-run double in the top of the 10th inning as the Indians survived blowing a seven-run lead and snuck past the Royals, 11-9.
Choo was plunked in the thigh by a Jonathan Sanchez fastball in the third inning, provoking a benches-clearing situation which resulted in multiple ejections. He was booed heavily in his remaining at-bats by the home crowd, but came through in the clutch by ripping a fastball into left field off of Greg Holland (0-1).
Choo took exception to being thrown at and took a few steps toward the mound while yelling at Sanchez before being restrained by home plate umpire Gary Darling.
Choo and Sanchez already have a history, as it was a Sanchez fastball that broke Choo's left thumb on June 24 last season and caused him to miss nearly a month.
Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored, Jason Kipnis crushed a two-run homer, Casey Kotchman added a solo shot, while Carlos Santana and Jose Lopez had two RBI apiece for the Indians.
Jairo Asencio (1-1) picked up with win with a scoreless ninth inning and Chris Perez pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th to earn his second save of the season.
Billy Butler and Moustakas drove in two runs each, while Yuniesky Betancourt cracked a solo homer and Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson each knocked in a run for the Royals, who have dropped four of their last five.
Kansas City counters Jimenez with Mexican right-hander Luis Mendoza, who starts for the second time this season and just the 18th time in his career.
The 28-year-old, signed as an undrafted free agent by Boston in 2000, debuted in the majors with the Texas Rangers in 2007 and was 4-8 with them over 32 appearances and three seasons before coming to the Royals in an April 2010 trade.
He appeared in six games and made two starts for the team in 2010-11, then debuted for 2012 on April 9 in Oakland, where he allowed just one run on five hits on 5 2/3 innings of a hard-luck 1-0 loss to the Athletics.
Mendoza, whose career earned run average is 7.05 in 104 2/3 big-league innings, has never faced the Indians.
The Indians won 12 of 18 versus the Royals last season, taking six of nine at home.
On this the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier Major League Baseball is commemorating this special occasion by having all players and on-field personnel once again wear the Hall of Famer's No. 42 in addition to other pregame festivities.
04/15 10:31:24 ET
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