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Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at Cleveland
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, April 21, 2014
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Indians have something off which to build when they host the Kansas City Royals on Monday in the opener of a four-game series between American League Central rivals. The Indians had lost seven of nine and trailed Sunday until David Murphy’s two-out, three-run double in the sixth inning keyed a 6-4 victory over Toronto. Cleveland is batting only .236 as a team, which has led to an uneven 8-10 start, while the Royals have won five of six and stand second in the AL in ERA (3.20).

Jason Kipnis (.230 average) and Asdrubal Cabrera (.215) have yet to get going while Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana both are hitting below .200. Kansas City is last in the majors in home runs (six) and near the bottom in runs scored (60), but Billy Butler’s bat is getting warmer as he's gone 7-for-19 during a five-game hitting streak. Omar Infante and Alex Gordon lead the Royals with nine RBIs apiece.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN (Kansas City), SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 4.34 ERA) vs. Indians RH Zach McAllister (2-0, 2.04)

Guthrie won his first two starts before yielding four runs over six innings to settle for a no-decision at Houston in a 6-4 victory on Wednesday. The Oregon native, who was a first-round pick of the Indians in 2002, is 4-3 with a 5.33 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) against his former team. Swisher is 14-for-40 with a pair of homers and nine RBIs against Guthrie.

McAllister has been outstanding in his last two outings, allowing only one run and nine hits in 13 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks. The 26-year-old has been better against left-handed hitters in his career (.259, 15 homers) than right-handed swingers (.273, 18). Alcides Escobar is 2-for-4 with a homer against McAllister, who is 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA in three starts versus the Royals.


WALK-OFFS

1. Cleveland won 10-of-19 games against Kansas City last season, going 6-3 at home.

2. Royals 1B Eric Hosmer had 23 hits, including two homers, and 11 RBIs in 19 games against the Indians last year.

3. Cleveland DH Jason Giambi (fractured rib) is expected to be activated from the disabled list for Monday’s game.

PREDICTION: Indians 7, Royals 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 9-8 L1 6-3 3-5 2-1 4-7 3-0 0-0
Cleveland 8-10 W1 4-5 4-5 1-2 3-6 2-1 2-1
Last Meeting
Kansas City Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/18/13 CLE 2 KC 7 .294 0 .751 .172 0 .400
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City N/A
Cleveland N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City N. Aoki 0 0 0
Cleveland C. Allen 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 0.00 .000 0
Cleveland 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City A. Escobar .298 17 .772
Cleveland D. Murphy .288 15 .875
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City M. Moustakas 2 4 6
Cleveland M. Brantley 3 9 16
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 3.20 .256 143
Cleveland 4.23 .236 164