Game Preview #50: Kansas City Royals (20-28) at Cleveland Indians (27-22)
By Mike Brandyberry
Just win the series. That is Manny Acta’s goal in each matchup. Despite last night being what he regarded as a, “boring game,” Acta and the Tribe can salvage a series victory this afternoon against the Kansas City Royals. The Tribe never had a chance last night, losing 8-2.
Jeanmar Gomez (3-3, 3.94) will start on the mound for the Tribe. Gomez is coming off a rough start Friday evening against the Chicago White Sox, resulting in a 9-3 loss for the Tribe. With the exception of two poor outings against the White Sox this season, Gomez has been rather dominant on the mound. Acta has talked several times about Gomez’s maturity and growth as a pitcher, along with the development of his slider as an out pitch, to take the next step as a starting pitcher.
He’ll be opposed by the Royals’ Bruce Chen (3-5, 4.81). Chen, a veteran left-hander, will look to keep the Indians off balance against southpaw. Last evening the Tribe struggled against lefty, Will Smith. The Indians and their heavy, left-handed hitting lineup are only 4-10 when southpaws start.
The Indians did announce a transaction this morning, placing Travis Hafner on the 15-day disabled list and recalling Scott Barnes from Triple-A Columbus. Hafner is fearful that his knee will need scoped and that he could miss 4-6 weeks.
Barnes has primarily been a starting pitcher, but was moved to the bullpen a month ago because it was felt he could better serve the major league club in a relief role. Barnes will head to the bullpen.
After serving as the designated hitter, Asdrubal Cabrera is recovered from his hamstring tightness and is back in the field at shortstop today.
The Indians will try to piece together a victory and salvage a series win before getting a much needed off day on Thursday. Catch all the action on the Indians Radio Network or SportsTime Ohio beginning at 12:05 today.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
4. Jose Lopez, 3B
5. Shelley Duncan, LF
6. Michael Brantley, CF
7. Johnny Damon, DH
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Luke Carlin, C
Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup
1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Mike Moustakas, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Eric Hosmer, 1B
7. Brayan Pena, C
8. Jarrod Dyson, CF
9. Alcides Escobar, SS
Photo: Getty Images