On Sunday each team during the split of their doubleheader had an opportunity to enjoy quality offensive chances at the plate, and the Tribe this evening will look to continue their nightcap momentum at Kauffman Stadium with hopes to split the overall series. The Indians this evening send Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2 10.06) to the hill who because of the schedule and iffy weather has had a full week to right the ship after being tagged last week in Houston for 4 runs in just 5 innings of work. Thanks to some exceptional middle and long relief the Tribe managed to edge the Astros 5-4 and was considered a step forward given his efficiency was even worse in several previous starts.
Part of the reason Jimenez has been so inconsistent despite receiving a large amount of run support is his inability to retire left handed batters. Lefties are hitting .316 so far and with the Royals playing at home, Kauffman's featured dimensions may prove susceptible to yet another ineffective outing in search of his first win. KC is hitting .267 overall featuring Alex Gordon and Alcidies Escobar who are both hitting over .300 with 3 HR and the top RBI club leaders. Billy Butler has also knocked 3 out of the park with 14 RBI. Jeff Francoeur and Eric Hosmer however are off to slow starts and have struggled in their career against Jimenez, who this evening will look to regain some control on his control and efficiency.
The Royals counter with Wade Davis (2-1 3.20) who is coming off a rough outing himself yielding 7 runs in just 3 2/3 innings in a 7-5 loss at Detroit on Wednesday. The loss ended a 12 consecutive scoreless inning streak. Carlos Santana (.388 4 10) is off to a great start leading the Indians in hitting and Mark Reynolds (.280 7 19) is off to a productive start much like his tenure with Baltimore in the early going. Cleveland, who can really use some quality starts from their veterans has a balanced and potentially dangerous lineup which could prove challenging for Davis looking to redeem himself and earn a series win for KC.
Tonight we get another bargain of a price, and while the luck hasn't exactly been on our side as of late, we feel we have an opportunity to break out of our losing slide with another explosive performance potentially from both sides at open air hitter friendly Kauffman. Jimenez is a better pitcher and more capable of what he's shown over the last year or two, and Davis could use some run support if he has trouble retiring some of the productive Cleveland bats. Best of luck however you play!