Game Preview: Cleveland (69-67) vs. Kansas City (58-82)
by Matt Van Wormer
Last night, the Indians took a step backwards in their pursuit of the Central Division crown. It didn’t help that the Tigers came back in dramatic fashion to beat the White Sox in walk-off fashion. Today, the Indians will have to win so they don’t lose any more ground in the division with the Tigers coming to Cleveland tomorrow.
Looking to win the finale for the Indians will be Jeanmar Gomez (1-2, 4.55, 1.55 WHIP) who shut down the Oakland Athletics a week ago. In that outing, Gomez threw six innings, scattering six hits and giving up just 1 run (0 earned). Back in April, Gomez took on the Royals and they hit him pretty hard. Over 4.1 innings, the Royals got nine hits and scored five runs against Gomez. Alex Gordon, a player who seems to give all Indians pitchers a fit, is 3 for 10 against Gomez in his career.
The Royals counter with Jeff Francis (5-14, 4.64, 1.38 WHIP) in the Sunday matinee. Francis is 1-1 against the Tribe this year. He has thrown 11 innings against the Tribe giving up 14 hits and six runs. His last effort was a No-Decision against the Tigers where he went 6.1 innings giving up just two hits and no runs. Many of the Indian hitters will be seeing Francis for the first time.
Winning today would go a long way in boosting the confidence of this young team. Once the game ends and the players fly back to Cleveland, they will be able to watch the Tigers and White Sox battle before the pivotal three-game set with the Tigers starts. It’s been said a million times but all of these games are must-win. This young team is playing beyond their years, especially with the adversity they are facing. If they can keep it up, they will definitely have a shot of winning the division.
Indians Starting Lineup
Royals lineup not available at this time.
Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images