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Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals - the rubber game

Can the Tribe finally achieve its second(!) series victory of the season?

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Cleveland Indians @ Kansas City Royals

Thursday May 7, 2015, 2:10 4:27 ET, Kauffman Stadium


Radio: WTAM


The feast or famine Tribe offense exploded into life again last night, providing the Indians with yet another chance to actually win a series in this afternoon's game.

Corey Kluber goes for his first win of the season — he is currently 0-4 and the Tribe also lost in his other two starts. Kluber looked in great form through his first three games, but has been struggling badly since then. Has he been trying too hard to compensate for the team's early offensive inadequacies? Have the hitters been over-pressing in striving to get him his first win? Who knows? Let's just hope that losing streak ends today.

The in-form 31yo Edinson Volquez is on the mound for the Royals today. Volquez has been outstanding in his five starts so far this season with a 2.10 ERA/2.73 FIP, averaging very nearly seven innings per start, but bizarrely the Royals are only 2-3 in those five games.

Volquez began his MLB career with the Rangers way back in 2005, and was fourth in the NL rookie of the year voting for the Reds in 2008, when he recorded a whopping 4.2 fWAR. Subsequently, he has become something of a journeyman — the Royals are his fourth MLB team in the past two years (in 2013 he actually led the league in total earned runs allowed). He was signed on a two-year, $20MM contract as a replacement for James Shields following a solid 2014 season with the Pirates.

Today's Lineups

Jason Kipnis - 2B Alex Gordon - LF
Carlos Santana - 1B Mike Moustakas - 3B
Michael Brantley - LF Lorenzo Cain - CF
Brandon Moss - RF Eric Hosmer - 1B
Lonnie Chisenhall - 3B Kendrys Morales - DH
David Murphy - DH Salvador Perez - C
Michael Bourn - CF Omar Infante - 2B
Roberto Perez - C Jarrod Dyson - RF
Jose Ramirez - SS Christian Colon - SS
Corey Kluber - RHP Edinson Volquez - RHP

With a RHP on the mound, David Murphy, Michael Bourn and Jose Ramirez are recalled in place of Ryan Raburn Nick Swisher and Mike Aviles, while Roberto Perez is also back after a scheduled day off behind the plate. With Carlos Santana seemingly now entrenched in the No.2 hole, Brandon Moss is the the new clean-up hitter against the righties.

The Royals have activated righty reliever Luke Hochevar (who has been out since ST last year due to TJ surgery) to the bullpen today, where he will take the spot of Brandon Finnegan (optioned back to AA).

Today's minor league action is as follows (see here for live scores):

10.35am ET: Charlotte (14-11) @ Columbus (13-13) with Jordan Cooper on the mound. [Update — the Clippers won 5-2.]

11:05am ET Akron (12-14) @ Bowie (16-10) where Shawn Morimando gets the start for the RubberDucks. [Update — the Ducks lost 4-2.]

7:00 pm ET: Lynchburg (9-18) @Carolina (15-10) in which Michael Peoples will be hoping to help end the Hillcats' eight-game losing skid.

6:30 pm ET: Great Lakes (12-12) @ Lake County (12-15) with Dace Kime up.

For daily Tribe MiLB news, box scores, game analysis and discussion, check out the comments section to the latest minor league update article.