MLB Baseball

7
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Cleveland0 0 0 0 0 3 0 4 0 770
Kansas City0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3101
3
  W: N. Wittgren (1-1)   L: J. Staumont (0-1)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 4, 2021
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 5,997

Key AL Central series continues as Royals host Indians

According to STATS
According to STATS

Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals

  1. These teams split a pair of games in Cleveland in early April. Their last series in Kansas City was in August-September last season, with the Royals winning the first game, 2-1, and the Indians winning the next two by a combined 15-1 count.
  2. Cleveland has won five of its last seven games, scoring at least five runs in all five victories. The team is 12-1 this season when scoring at least four runs and 1-12 when failing to reach that figure.
  3. The Royals have alternated wins and losses in their last six contests, scoring 23 runs in their three victories and six in the three defeats. They average 6.06 runs per game in wins this season, and 2.30 in losses.
  4. Carlos Santana has produced six home runs and 21 RBI in 26 games for the Royals this season. In 60 games in 2020 with Cleveland, Santana managed only eight homers and 30 RBI. After posting a career-low .699 OPS a season ago, Santana has that figure at .904 in 2021.
  5. Jose Ramirez has hit eight home runs this season, six of them coming in the sixth inning or later. Ramirez has two homers versus the Royals in 2021, and 12 in 28 games versus Kansas City since 2019.
  6. Aaron Civale brings a 4-0 record into Monday's start; no AL pitcher has won five games this season. Civale has gone seven or more innings in three of his five starts and allows a .132 opponent batting average after the first time through the opponent lineup.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/3/2021 thru 5/6/2021

Managers will tell you that all series and games count the same, so they approach series against a divisional opponent exactly the same as the rest. But there's just more at stake when two teams fighting for the same turf in the standings square off.

Such is the case as the Cleveland Indians face the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night in the second game of a four-game series in Kansas City. The Royals will send Mike Minor (2-1, 5.26 ERA) to the mound, while Cleveland will counter with Sam Hentges (1-0, 4.76 ERA).

The Indians will be trying to build on an 8-6 victory in the series opener Monday night. The Indians scored five runs in the seventh inning, then held on after the Royals answered with three in the bottom of the seventh.

Kansas City manager Mike Matheny broke into coach-speak Monday when talking about the series, and the one that follows against the White Sox. The Indians and White Sox are the Royals' closest pursuers in the American League Central.

"It makes for great news, but for us it doesn't matter," he said. "We just have to win. I understand the urgency when we're talking about teams in the division fighting for the same thing. But that gets in the way of what we need to do, and that's playing good baseball. We're going to continue to give that same message all season long. That's truly the only thing we can control.

"If we're trying harder against people in our own division, then we need to offer refunds after games. It's how we should be going about our business, because it's the most important game we can play today. I don't care who it's against. When we buy into that, then we've got a better chance of sustained, good baseball."

The Royals have been playing good baseball, in spite of the fact that they own the worst home ERA (5.31) in the American League entering Tuesday.

Minor is due for an ERA-lowering start Tuesday; he has alternated starts where he raised his ERA and lowered it. His last outing, at Pittsburgh April 28, he raised it, giving up five runs (four earned) in 4 1/3 innings. The Royals took a 7-0 lead before Pittsburgh came storming back, and Minor couldn't survive the fifth inning.

"Our offense did their job really early on, but there's a lot of game left and I think both sides knew that," Minor said after the game. "Once they got a couple runs on the board, it looks a lot different. Then it gives them some energy and some momentum. It was my job to put a stop to that, and I didn't."

In eight games (two starts) lifetime against the Indians, Minor is 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA.

Hentges will be making his first major league start, filling the spot in the rotation vacated when Logan Allen was optioned to the team's alternate training site April 28.

Hentges has appeared in three games, picking up a win against the New York Yankees April 25 with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. In his last appearance April 28, he threw three innings in mop-up duty in the Indians' 10-2 loss to the Twins. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits.

"The youth thing, it's more exciting than anything," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said before last weekend when asked about the young additions to the pitching staff. "I asked them to be patient, because I'm gonna try to put them where I think they can succeed and keep an eye on their workloads and things like that."

Pitching against a division rival, one currently in first place, sounds like as good a place to succeed as any.

--Field Level Media

Updated May 4, 2021

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