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Kansas City Royals (21-27) at Cleveland Indians (24-23)
Sunday, May 28 - 1:10 PM EST
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio
The Kansas City Royals may hold the dubious title of being the lowest-scoring offense in the majors, but the Cleveland Indians have yet to stop their bats at critical times this weekend. After dropping their previous eight meetings to the Indians at Progressive Field, the Royals eye their first three-game road sweep of the Indians since June 24-26, 2003, on Sunday when they wrap their series against Cleveland.
Alcides Escobar hit a tiebreaking two-run double to cap a three-run sixth inning in Saturday's 5-2 victory for Kansas City's third win in its last four contests. The Royals, who overcame an early four-run deficit and got a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning from rookie Jorge Bonifacio in Friday's series-opening win, are getting clutch hits when they need them in Cleveland after going hitless for a franchise-worst 35 straight at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Indians have also been unable to deliver in similar spots all year long, batting .204 this season, including 3-for 13 in this series. Although Francisco Lindor (.150) and Michael Brantley (.195) have struggled with runners in scoring position for Cleveland, each player had two hits Saturday to run their hitting streaks to 12 and 11 games, respectively.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Kansas City, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Danny Duffy (4-3, 2.92 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (2-6, 6.70)
Since surrendering six runs in consecutive starts against the Chicago White Sox, Duffy is 2-1 with a 1.63 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over his last four outings - including a pair of wins over the New York Yankees in his last two. The former third-round pick fanned a season-high 10 Yankees across seven scoreless frames in a home victory on May 18 before allowing two runs over seven innings in a win at New York five days later. Duffy took the loss against the Indians on May 7 despite yielding one run in 6 2/3 frames.
Tomlin suffered his third loss in as many starts Monday at Cincinnati, permitting five runs (four earned) on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. The 32-year-old has issued two or fewer free passes in 40 straight outings, including an AL-best 25 performances over that span in which he did not walk a batter. Tomlin allowed a run on three hits in seven frames of a no-decision on May 6 at Kansas City to extend his unbeaten streak against the Royals to seven turns and is 9-4 with a 4.15 ERA in 22 appearances (18 starts) against them.
1. Kansas City is 3-2 against Cleveland in 2017 after going 5-14 against the Indians last season.
2. Cleveland manager Terry Francona announced Saturday he expects RHP Corey Kluber (back) to come off the disabled list in time to start Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.
3. Royals 3B Mike Moustakas, who has homered in three of his last four contests, is 5-for-9 with two solo shots through two games in this series.
PREDICTION: Royals 4, Indians 2