INDIANS (46-38) AT ROYALS (29-57)
8:15 p.m. ET; FSKC, ST-OH, MLB.TV
The Cleveland Indians (-1.5) started slowly in the first two-plus months of the 2019 season, digging themselves quite a hole. They were just 28-29 at the end of May.
However, they are 18-9 since June 1, the best record in the American League in that span.
Their latest victory came Tuesday night in Kansas City, where they used a five-run third inning to defeat the Royals 9-5. Trevor Bauer survived a shaky start to pitch six innings of five-run ball and pick up the win.
The Indians will send right-hander Mike Clevinger (1-2, 5.89 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday in the middle game of a three-game series.
Clevinger is 6-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 10 appearances (nine starts) in his career against Kansas City. The six wins are the most he has against any opponent, and the Royals are one of two teams (Los Angeles Angels (-1.5)) against whom he is undefeated with more than one decision.
Clevinger has started just four games this season because of a pair of injuries. His most recent stint on the injured list was because of a left ankle sprain.
In his latest start, his first since coming off the IL for the second time, he gave up a career-high seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings against Baltimore. He walked three and served up five hits, including a home run.
“It happened quick,” manager Terry Francona said. “His stuff was terrific. It looked like he was a little too amped up. Even his delivery, he looked like he was rushing. The ball was coming out great, he just wasn’t locating where he wanted to.
“He had deep counts, and he really paid the price.”
The Royals will send left-hander Danny Duffy (3-4, 4.43 ERA) to the mound. Duffy is just 2-10 with a 5.68 ERA in 19 career appearances, including 15 starts, against Cleveland. The 10 losses are tied for the most against any opponent (Detroit Tigers (+1.5)). He has not faced the Indians this season.
All three runs Duffy allowed in his last outing, a loss at Toronto on Friday, came in the sixth and seventh innings. He pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up seven hits and one walk while striking out eight.
“I feel like Duffy was throwing the ball really good,” catcher Martin Maldonado said following that game. “I feel like the last couple games we have thrown the ball really good. Just we can’t catch a break. Every time we make a mistake, it’s a homer instead of a popup or a rollover.”
Duffy figures to have starting shortstop Adalberto Mondesi in the lineup behind him. Mondesi came off the 10-day injured list prior to Tuesday’s game, and he went 1-for-4, but the one hit was a two-run home run. He also earned an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
During a two-game rehab stint with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Mondesi was 2-for-9 with a double and a stolen base. He had been sidelined since June 19 due to a groin strain.
“He wasn’t out that long,” Royals manager Ned Yost said prior to Tuesday’s action. “(We) just wanted to make sure that he was feeling good. (He) stole a base, hit the ball hard, did great defensively, no repercussions. He’s ready to go. We’re excited to get him back.”
–Field Level Media