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Cleveland at Kansas City

Venue: Kauffman Stadium
  •  

In the thick of the playoff race, the Kansas City Royals are hoping to get a boost from one of their top pitching prospects.

Yordano Ventura is set to make his major league debut Tuesday night as the Royals continue a crucial three-game home set against the Cleveland Indians.

The highly touted 22-year-old right-hander will replace original scheduled starter Danny Duffy, who is dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired left elbow. Ventura's repertoire includes an impressive curveball and a fastball that touches triple digits.

"This is the highest level of baseball," he said through teammate Bruce Chen, "so every time I go out there to pitch I'm going to give everything I can in my power, so I can do a good job."

Ventura began the season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas before moving to Triple-A Omaha, where he went 5-4 with a 3.74 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 77 innings.

"We're all excited to see Ventura pitch," manager Ned Yost said. "I've had my eye on this guy - like we've all had - for two or three years, watching him come up in the system."

Ventura will try to deliver for a Royals team that has won 15 of 22 following Monday's 7-1 victory. Salvador Perez had three of the team's 14 hits as Kansas City (79-71) moved 2 1/2 games behind Texas for the AL's second wild-card spot.

"Every game is important," winning pitcher James Shields said. "This is what we live for, this is what we play for, September baseball, and hopefully we have a chance to go to the playoffs."

The Indians (81-69), who had won four in a row against the White Sox by a 32-6 margin, remain one-half game behind the Rangers, who also lost Monday.

"We couldn't get that big hit," said designated hitter Jason Giambi, whose team dropped six games behind AL Central-leading Detroit with 12 to play. "We hit a few balls, but we couldn't drive in that big run."

The Indians will try to avoid a fourth straight loss in Kansas City behind Corey Kluber (9-5, 3.55), who has won both his starts after missing a month with a sprained finger. The right-hander gave up two runs in five innings Thursday in a 14-3 road win over the White Sox.

"I was a little sloppy to start out with," he told MLB's official website. "I think I was kind of inconsistent with my delivery early on and I wasn't getting my arm in a good slot, pitch after pitch."

Kluber struck out eight over 7 2-3 innings of three-hit ball in a 3-0 win over the Royals on July 12, improving to 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts in the series this year. Eric Hosmer is 0 for 10 in their matchups this season, and Billy Butler and Alex Gordon are both 1 for 9. Gordon's hit, though, was a home run.

Perez, 2 for 5 with a double against Kluber, is hitting .367 with seven homers and 26 RBIs over a 27-game stretch.

Ventura, meanwhile, will need to be careful against Nick Swisher, who is batting .333 with five homers and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games. Swisher, though, is 9 for 51 (.176) with just one RBI in his past 15 games versus Kansas City.

Copyright 2015 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

Corey Kluber, RHP
2013 stats
132.0 Innings Pitched 24.1
9-5 Wins-Losses 2-0
3.55 Earned Run Average 1.85
28 Walks 14
123 Strikeouts 22
94 Pitches Per Start 94
Career vs. opponent
24.1 Innings Pitched 10.1
2-0 Wins-Losses 1-0
4.44 Earned Run Average 5.23

Danny Duffy, LHP
Weather
weather image  a few tstorms. Overcast. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
78°F62°F10mph/SE69%64%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Cleveland4th AL Central11.50011-1 W 1
Kansas City2nd AL Central101.000 ½ 1-0 W 1
 
 

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Injuries
Cleveland
PlayerInjury
M. BrantleyBack
J. KipnisHand
C. KluberIllness
B. MossHip
N. SwisherKnees
Kansas City
PlayerInjury
A. GordonWrist
L. HochevarElbow
O. InfanteElbow
R. MadsonBack
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 13MIN 4:10 PM EDT  
Apr 15MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Apr 16MIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Apr 20KC   
Apr 21KC   
Apr 22KC   
Jun 8MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 9MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jun 10MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Jul 2KC   
Jul 3KC   
Jul 4KC   
Jul 5KC   
Sep 7KC   
Sep 8KC   
Sep 9KC   
Oct 2MIN 8:10 PM EDT  
Oct 3MIN   
Oct 4MIN 2:10 PM EDT