Major League Baseball
Preview
Kansas City at Cleveland
When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, August 24, 2019
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio

Right-hander Mike Clevinger looks to continue his dominance in the series as he takes the mound for the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night when they host the struggling Kansas City Royals for the second of a three-game set. Clevinger is 8-0, including a pair of wins this season, with a 1.96 ERA in 12 career contests (11 starts) against the Royals with 73 strikeouts across 69 total innings.

The Indians will try to build off a 4-1 victory in the series opener Friday, after losing seven of the previous nine games, and moved back into a virtual tie with Oakland for the second wild-card spot in the American League. All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor belted a two-run homer in the victory to extend his hitting streak to six games (15 in his last 16) and is 7-for-13 with a pair of homers against righty Glenn Sparkman, Kansas City’s scheduled starter Saturday. The Royals, who are 6-11 against Cleveland to lose the season series for the fourth consecutive year, won nine of their first 12 games after the All-Star break but have gone 6-20 since while being winless in eight sets (0-7-1). Whit Merrifield (.300 batting average) has been Kansas City’s best offensive player all season and he recorded two singles in the series opener to extend his hitting streak to five games while Nicky Lopez hit safely for his seventh consecutive contest (8-for-23).

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, STO (Cleveland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Glenn Sparkman (3-8, 5.40 ERA) vs. Indians RH Mike Clevinger (8-2, 3.11)

Sparkman is winless in his last six outings despite posting quality starts in each of the last two trips to the mound, allowing four earned runs over 12 total innings. The 27-year-old Texas native gave up two runs over six innings in a 2-0 loss to St. Louis on Aug. 13 before yielding three tallies across six frames in a no-decision versus the New York Mets last Sunday. Oscar Mercado is 5-for-10 with two RBIs against Sparkman, who is 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in three starts versus Cleveland this year.

Clevinger rebounded from a rare rough outing by holding the New York Yankees to three hits over five scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in a win that extended his unbeaten streak to nine games. The 28-year-old Floridia native permitted four runs on 11 hits across 4 2/3 innings against Boston on Aug. 13, but it was the only time he has surrendered more than three runs since June 28. Jorge Soler is 8-for-14 with three doubles versus Clevinger, who is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two starts against the Royals in 2019.

WALK-OFFS

1. Kansas City LF Alex Gordon is 7-for-15 after recording two singles and a walk Friday while hitting safely in his fourth straight contest.

2. Cleveland 3B Jose Ramirez had a double Friday for his franchise-record 14th extra-base hit in a single season against Kansas City.

3. Royals 3B-1B Cheslor Cuthbert is mired in a 0-for-39 slump after grounding into a double play in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter Friday.

PREDICTION: Indians 6, Royals 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Kansas City 45-84 L3 24-39 21-45 8-22 24-37 7-16 6-9
Cleveland 75-54 W1 40-26 35-28 18-13 35-20 16-13 6-8
Last Meeting
Kansas City Cleveland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/23/19 KC 1 CLE 4 .200 0 .539 .300 1 .830
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City A. Gordon .368 25 .852
Cleveland F. Lindor .409 27 1.147
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City J. Soler 4 6 6
Cleveland J. Ramirez 7 13 15
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 4.85 .253 112
Cleveland 3.77 .281 141
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Kansas City W. Merrifield .300 162 .829
Cleveland F. Lindor .297 136 .868
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Kansas City J. Soler 35 69 88
Cleveland C. Santana 30 91 79
Pitching ERA Avg K
Kansas City 5.00 .242 988
Cleveland 3.71 .251 1196