Major League Baseball

Indians seek offensive revival in Kansas City

mlb11.jpgINDIANS (45-38) AT ROYALS (29-56)
8:15 p.m. ET; FSKC, ST-OH, MLB.TV

The Cleveland Indians (-1.5) hope to get their offense back on track when they travel to Kansas City for a three-game series with the Royals beginning Tuesday night.

The Indians will send Trevor Bauer (6-6, 3.55 ERA) to the mound to face Jakob Junis (4-7, 5.23 ERA) in a rematch of a game from last Wednesday.

Cleveland had won 10 of its previous 13 games heading into a weekend series in Baltimore, where the Indians wound up losing two out of three to the Orioles. They fell by identical 13-0 scores on Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday’s series finale 2-0.

It was the first time the Indians were shut out in consecutive games since July 22-23, 2018, and it was the first time they lost consecutive games overall since May 30 and May 31. Cleveland became the first team to be blanked in consecutive games while losing by at least 13 runs each time.

After scratching out a win Sunday behind a pair of RBI singles from All-Star Carlos Santana, the Indians hope to resume their momentum against the Royals.

Bauer should give them a good chance. In his start against Kansas City last week, he carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and he wound up allowing one run on three hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings. He also notched a season-high 12 strikeouts.

“I felt pretty good the entire game,” Bauer said after the gem. “I finally felt like myself, which is nice after two months of feeling like someone else.”

Bauer is 4-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 15 career appearances (14 starts) against the Royals.

The Royals will open a one-opponent homestand for the second home series in a row. Prior to last week’s road trip in which they went 1-2 in Cleveland and 1-3 in Toronto, the Royals split a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins (-1.5).

It’s part of a stretch of 23 games with just seven at home prior to the All-Star break. The schedule will balance out after the break with Kansas City playing 14 of its final 18 games in July at Kauffman Stadium.

Junis took the loss in Cleveland on Wednesday, allowing four runs on nine hits, including two homers, with one walk and four strikeouts in six innings. He has surrendered six home runs in his past four starts.

He’ll face Cleveland for the third time in 2019, having gone 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA against them so far this year. In his career, he is 2-3 with a 5.89 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) against Cleveland.

“I made a couple mistakes, especially one ahead in the count to (Jake) Bauers,” Junis said after his latest outing. “I left a fastball in, didn’t get it in far enough and he hit a homer with it. I wish I could’ve got that one back.

“Besides that, they got a bloop in the first inning and scored a run. I made some pretty good pitches with my slider today, some good changeups. If I could have just located my fastball a little bit better. They took advantage of my fastballs over the plate.”

–Field Level Media

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