Game #15 – Kansas City Royals (3-13) vs. Cleveland Indians (8-6)

By Matthew Van Wormer

The Indians are returning to the shores of Lake Erie after an outstanding road trip where the Indians did some serious damage.  They won all three series on their nine game trip, dropping just two of the games.  They started their jaunt by sweeping the team that is heading into Cleveland tonight, the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals have been a sinking ship since having a strong showing against the Angels to start the season.  They have lost 11 of their last 12 including ten straight losses at home to start that portion of their season.  The Royals are a young team but they know that they have nothing to lose and those opponents can sometimes be the most dangerous.  The Tribe will have to keep doing what they have been doing for the last week and a half; beating teams they are supposed to beat.

Tonight, Jonathan Sanchez takes the hill for the Royals.  This is the same Sanchez that only lasted 2.2 innings against Cleveland just ten days ago.  The Indians tagged Sanchez with six hits, four walks, scoring five runs in the process.  He didn’t take the loss, however, as the Royals battled back to tie the game before the Indians prevailed in extra innings.

Derek Lowe will be looking to get back in the win column after losing to the Mariners last Wednesday.  Before that outing, he took down the Royals in Kansas City, going 6.2 innings, giving up three runs and striking out two to earn the victory.  Many of the young guys on the Royals have had early success against Lowe and he will have to figure those hitters out to return to his winning ways.

This is an important home stand for the Tribe.  They need to show that the road trip wasn’t a fluke.  They need to show they’ve put the pieces together and are ready to compete for this division and more.  Asdrubal Cabrera will be back in the lineup tonight which should be a nice boost to the offense.  Cabrera had two singles in two at bats against Sanchez in KC and will try to stay hot against the lefty.

Hopefully Progressive Field will be, “Home Sweet Home” tonight and the rest of the week as the Indians play host for the next six games.  To borrow a phrase from Tom Hamilton, things will get under way at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario at 7:05 tonight on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network as well as Sports Time Ohio.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Travis Hafner, DH
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Jack Hannahan, 3B
8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
9. Aaron Cunningham, CF

Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup
1. Chris Getz, 2B
2. Alex Gordon, LF
3. Billy Butler, DH
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Humberto Quintero, C
8. Mitch Maier, CF
9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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