MLB

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - 7:10 PM ET
 

Indians-Royals Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Since the end of July, no team has played worse than the Cleveland Indians.

Their struggles against the Kansas City Royals, however, started back in May.

The Royals look to win seven straight games over the woeful Indians for the first time in nearly 40 years Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.

In Friday's opener, Mike Moustakas and Brayan Pena each drove in two runs to lead the Royals (69-81) to a 6-3 victory, their third in a row. Kansas City, which hasn't won four straight games since June 25-29, is now two victories away from matching last season's total.

It appears to have a good shot of picking up a few more wins with five games remaining against the Indians.

Cleveland (62-89) is a major league-worst 12-40 since July 26, when it was 50-49 and trailed AL Central-leading Chicago by 3 1/2 games.

The Royals have accounted for four of those defeats, and are averaging 6.7 runs while batting .313 during a six-game win streak against Cleveland. This is Kansas City's longest run over the Indians since 1978, and it hasn't won seven straight in the series since a nine-game streak in 1973.

Moustakas is batting .333 with 12 RBIs in 13 games against the Indians this season, while Alex Gordon, who was held out of the lineup in the opener with bruised hands but is expected to start Saturday, is batting .457 with eight RBIs and eight runs in his last nine in the series.

Gordon, however, is 2 for 10 lifetime against Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16, 5.43 ERA), while Billy Butler, Kansas City's leader with 27 homers and 99 RBIs, is 1 for 9 with a homer against the scheduled starter.

Jimenez, though, hasn't had much luck lately, and is again seeking his first win since Aug. 9.

At least the Indians managed to get the win in his last start, as Jimenez gave up three runs and five hits in six innings in a 7-6 comeback victory. The right-hander was 0-5 with a 6.61 ERA in his previous six starts with Cleveland losing each.

Jimenez, the major league leader in losses, went 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA in his two April starts against the Royals, and hasn't faced them since.

Kansas City counters with Will Smith (5-8, 5.08), who hasn't faced the Indians since making his second career start May 29, when he allowed two runs and four hits in six innings of an 8-2 win, his first.

After throwing seven shutout innings in a win over Minnesota on Sept. 11, Smith permitted four runs and seven hits in five innings in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. The rookie left-hander dropped to 1-4 in his last five starts, and has a 6.86 ERA in those defeats.

He'll be facing a Cleveland team that has scored three runs or fewer in seven of nine games against the Royals, losing eight times.

The Indians left nine runners on base Friday, with Travis Hafner, playing in his second game after being sidelined for 40 with a lower back inflammation, responsible for five of them.

"Offensively, we continue to struggle, especially with situational hitting,'' manager Manny Acta said.

Tagged: Indians, Royals, Ubaldo Jimenez

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..