American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, July 2nd
(All times eastern)
Cleveland Indians (44-38) at Kansas City Royals (38-41) 8:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Cleveland - Corey Kluber (6-5, 4.16)
Kansas City - Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.16)
(Sports Network) - The surging Cleveland Indians take on the Kansas City
Royals Tuesday when the teams open a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.
Corey Kluber gets the start for Cleveland, while Luis Mendoza toes the rubber
for Kansas City. Both right-handers have pitched 75 2/3 innings on the season,
and they both have identical 4.16 ERA's.
Kluber is taking the place of left-hander Scott Kazmir, who was given an extra
day of rest because of back spasms.
"We'll give Kazmir the extra day," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He
came through it really good. We just thought it made sense to give him the
extra day. As long as 'Klub' is OK, which he is, it made sense to back him
After posting a 2.77 ERA in his previous eight starts, Kluber was tagged for
seven runs (six earned) in 4 2/3 innings against the Orioles his last time
Meanwhile, Mendoza is coming off a no-decision against Atlanta on Wednesday
despite allowing just two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits and a
walk while striking out six.
"Phenomenal," Royals manager Ned Yost said of that effort. "He pitched great.
He left the ballgame with a 3-0 lead and we ended up giving three runs. It's a
shame he couldn't take advantage of that win, because he deserved it."
Kansas City claimed a 9-8 win over Minnesota on Sunday to record a four-game
split. David Lough supplied most of the offense as he went 4-for-4 with three
doubles and a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning. Eric Hosmer tacked on a
solo homer in the ninth to seal the outcome, marking his third home run in the
last three games.
"It was a great game, man," Yost said. "It's one of those games that keeps
your heart pounding right from the get-go."
The Indians find themselves all alone atop the American League Central thanks
to this weekend's four-game sweep over the White Sox in Chicago. They began
that series with a 19-10 win on Friday in the first game of a doubleheader,
and ended it with a 4-0 win in Sunday's series finale.
Justin Masterson was masterful in the latter victory, as he allowed only six
hits and a walk while fanning eight for his third shutout of the season.
Cleveland has won 10-of-13 overall and will now play 13 games in 13 days
leading into the All-Star break.
The Tribe won two of three against the Royals when these teams met up in
Cleveland from June 17-19. Kansas City began the day 4 1/2 games back in the
AL Central standings.
07/02 10:52:35 ET