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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 23rd (All times Eastern)

Kansas City Royals (10-9) at Cleveland Indians (9-11), 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - Jason Vargas (2-0, 1.24) Cleveland - Justin Masterson (0-0, 4.98)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Big-ticket southpaw Jason Vargas can continue a productive early season with his new team on Wednesday night when the Kansas City Royals return to Progressive Field for the third of four games with the Cleveland Indians.

Vargas signed a four-year, $32 million contract after making 154 big-league starts while spending time with Miami, the New York Mets, Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

He was 9-8 in 24 starts with the Angels in 2013 and has begun this season with a 1.24 earned run average through 29 innings.

Vargas allowed seven hits in seven scoreless innings in his last start - a 5-0 defeat of Minnesota on Friday. He's pitched at least seven innings and allowed two runs or less in each of his four 2014 starts.

"I've had games where I pitched well and games where I haven't," he said. "I don't really think about it. I just take the ball every fifth day."

He is 2-2 in five starts against the Indians, but has allowed just one earned run in his last two starts against them.

Cleveland replies with right-hander Justin Masterson, who's still seeking his first win in his fourth start.

He took a tough-luck no-decision in his most recent outing on Friday against Toronto, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings and striking out nine batters in a game the Indians lost, 3-2.

"It didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, but I thought he did a real good job," manager Terry Francona said.

Masterson was a 6-3 winner the last time he faced Kansas City, last season on June 19.

On Tuesday, Mike Moustakas homered and James Shields struck out nine Indians in six innings as the Royals evened the series with an 8-2 win. Eric Hosmer went 4-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored for Kansas City, which halted a two- game slide and has won six of its last eight games.

Shields (2-2) allowed both runs -- one earned -- on six hits and a walk to win his second straight start.

Billy Butler and Alcides Escobar had two hits and Alex Gordon drove in a pair of runs for the Royals.

Danny Salazar (0-3) took the loss after yielding five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits in just 4 1/3 innings.

Cleveland was 10-9 against the Royals last season.

04/23 10:26:27 ET

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