The wild card-leading Indians look to complete their second three-game sweep of the major league-worst Royals in 10 days when the teams meet at Kauffman Stadium.
Cleveland remained the hottest team in the majors with an 11-4 victory Saturday, its fourth straight win and 17th in 19 games.
Jhonny Peralta, Ronnie Belliard, Grady Sizemore and Coco Crisp homered for the Indians, who remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Boston and the New York Yankees for the AL wild card, and within 1 1/2 games of the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox.
“We’re right where we need to be,” Indians pitcher Kevin Millwood said. “We can get in one way or the other.”
Ben Broussard had a career-high three doubles and four RBIs for Cleveland, which had 16 hits, including seven doubles and four homers. The Indians set a season high for extra-base hits and have 62 homers in their last 31 games.
“We’ve kind of put in a lot of time in the last couple of years getting beat and now it time for us to go out and play well, and we’ve been doing it for a while,” Broussard said.
“It’s been a lot of fun. We’ve just got to stay focused and finish strong. We control our own destiny. We’re not going to have to depend on other people right now.”
After Sunday, Cleveland hosts Tampa Bay for three games before closing the regular season with three huge games against the White Sox at Jacobs Field.
Saturday’s victory extended Cleveland’s franchise-record win streak against Kansas City to 10 games. The old mark was eight in a row set in 1995 and 1997, both years the Indians went to the World Series.
The Indians have outscored the Royals 48-21 in the last six meetings.
“They’re swinging the bats pretty well right now,” Royals catcher John Buck said. “When we’re putting them in hitter’s counts all the time, that’s a good indicator why they’re hitting home runs instead of just getting base hits. They’re getting comfortable and putting little more aggressive swings on it.”
Cleveland’s Travis Hafner failed to hit a home run Saturday, ending his streak of six straight games with a home run, one shy of the franchise record. Hafner went 1-for-4 and is batting .433 (13-for-30) with six homers and 18 RBIs in his last eight games.
Kansas City dropped to 52-102, two shy of the franchise record for losses set last year.
Designated hitter Mike Sweeney took batting practice, but was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game. Center fielder David DeJesus was available to run the bases and play defense but won’t be batting the rest of the season.