Game #6 – Cleveland Indians (1-4) vs. Kansas City Royals (3-3)

By Matthew Van Wormer

After a dismal home stand to start the 2012 campaign, the Tribesmen hit the road for a nine game trip that starts at beautiful Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. After taking just one game in their opening series against the Blue Jays, the Indians couldn’t take a game from the White Sox before hitting the road.

The Royals have been fairly successful so far this season, taking two out of three from the heavy favorite in the A.L. West, the Los Angeles Angels. However, the followed that up by losing two of three to the heavy underdog in the same division, the Oakland Athletics.

The Indians will try to spoil the home opener celebration in KC with Derek Lowe (1-0, 0.00 ERA) taking the hill. Lowe had an outstanding first start in a Cleveland uniform, shutting down a potent Blue Jays lineup. The two runs that he did give up were both unearned but he had great control, walking just one Toronto hitter.

Lowe’s biggest achievement was keeping the ball on the ground, letting the defense behind him take care of things. Of the 27 batters that Lowe faced, only eight were able to get the ball in the air and five of those were caught for outs. By mixing up his pitches, he was able to keep the Blue Jays hitters off-balance and he will need to do that again against a young Kansas City lineup.

The Royals will counter with right-hander, Luke Hochevar who is coming off of his winning performance against the Angels. Hochevar gave up two runs and five hits over 6.1 innings, keeping the big bats of Los Angeles in check for the most part. The scuffling Indians will have their hands full each time they head to the plate. The Indians step up to bat at 4:10, Cleveland time.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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