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Kansas City at Cleveland

Venue: Progressive Field

After a rough start to June, the Cleveland Indians have managed to turn things around.

They'll again have a chance to surpass the .500 mark Wednesday night against the Kansas City Royals.

Cleveland (35-35) opened June with a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay, then dropped a season-high eight in a row. Since then, the Indians have won five of seven and are in position to win a third consecutive series. They're also trying to move past the break-even mark for the first time since they were 30-29 on June 5.

Michael Brantley's sacrifice fly capped a three-run eighth inning Tuesday that helped Cleveland rally for a 4-3 win over Kansas City (34-35), which lost for the third time in 14 games.

"I won't say we needed it, but we wanted it,'' Cleveland center fielder Michael Bourn said. "They took second place (in the AL Central) over us (Monday) and we came back today. Not only that, we want to win those close games like that. Those close games matter.''

Cleveland's last 14 games have been decided by three or fewer runs, and four of the last five by a single run.

Scheduled Indians starter Justin Masterson (8-5, 3.52 ERA) has posted an 8.84 ERA in losing three straight to the Royals, but is 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA in eight starts at Progressive Field this year. He's yielded five runs, 17 hits and fanned 44 in 36 innings to go 4-0 in his last five home starts.

The right-hander allowed 11 runs over 13 1-3 innings in his previous two starts - both on the road - before he gave up a run, two hits and struck out 10 over seven frames while not receiving a decision in Friday's 2-1 victory over Washington.

"I just had some good movement," Masterson told the Indians' official website. "Slider, sinker, magic pitch ... It was all good."

Masterson, however, allowed seven runs, nine hits and walked four in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-0 loss at Kansas City on April 28.

Alex Gordon is batting. 400 (12 for 30) with three doubles, a triple and a home run against Masterson, but he's 0 for 7 in the series.

Kansas City's Luis Mendoza (2-3, 4.08) takes the mound Wednesday looking for another strong outing after he allowed two runs in 13 innings while going 1-0 in his last two starts. He yielded those runs and overcame seven hits in six innings during a 7-2 win at Tampa Bay on Friday.

"Mendy started out really shaky. He was all over the place and he was behind on everybody," manager Ned Yost said. "But he really settled himself in and his command got better."

After the right-hander allowed nine runs in four innings of a 13-7 loss in his first 2012 appearance against the Indians, he posted a 2.95 ERA to win his next three starts versus Cleveland last year.

Ex-Royal Mike Aviles had two of Cleveland's six hits Tuesday. He's 3 for 8 with an RBI in the set and hitting .300 with six RBIs in June.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Luis Mendoza, RHP
2013 stats
64.0 Innings Pitched 102.1
2-3 Wins-Losses 8-5
4.08 Earned Run Average 3.52
26 Walks 41
40 Strikeouts 102
91 Pitches Per Start 103
Career vs. opponent
26.0 Innings Pitched 82.1
3-1 Wins-Losses 4-6
4.50 Earned Run Average 5.03

Justin Masterson, RHP
weather image  Sunny. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Kansas City3rd AL Central8178.50910 ½ 5-5 L 1
Cleveland1st AL Central9167.576-5-5 L 2
vs Justin Masterson
vs Luis Mendoza

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May 6CLECLE 7-1Salazar Ventura 
May 7CLEKC 7-0Kennedy Anderson 
May 8CLECLE 5-4Tomlin Volquez 
Jun 2CLECLE 5-4Hunter Soria 
Jun 3CLECLE 6-1Salazar Volquez 
Jun 4CLECLE 7-1Tomlin Kennedy 
Jun 5CLECLE 7-0Kluber Young 
Jun 13KCKC 2-1Volquez Carrasco 
Jun 14KCKC 3-2Soria Shaw 
Jun 15KCKC 9-4Kennedy Kluber 
Jul 18KCKC 7-3Hochevar Shaw 
Jul 19KCCLE 7-3Salazar Flynn 
Jul 20KCCLE 11-4Carrasco Kennedy 
Sep 20CLECLE 2-1Miller Flynn 
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Sep 30KC 8:15 PM EDT  
Oct 1KC 4:15 PM EDT  
Oct 2KC 3:15 PM EDT