The Indians (52-64) swept a day-night doubleheader from the Royals on Saturday and have won the first three games of the series and five straight overall. Cleveland’s last sweep came against Kansas City (41-76) at home from May 16-18.
After losing their season opener, the Indians won six in a row, their longest winning streak of the year.
Travis Hafner delivered the deciding hit in both games on Saturday and reached 100 RBIs for the third straight season.
“About the only goals I set are getting my team to the playoffs and driving in 100,” he said. “Driving in runs means a lot to me.”
Hafner had an RBI single with two outs in the ninth to lift the Indians to a 5-4 win in the opener, then doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to help Cleveland win the nightcap 6-5.
“Hafner just keeps getting big hits,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “He’s pretty special.”
Kansas City has lost 10 straight at Jacobs Field and four in a row on the road. Ryan Shealy had three hits and matched his career-high with four RBIs in the second game for the Royals, who led 5-4 in the eighth before blowing the lead.
“It was a long day,” Royals manager Buddy Bell said. “I feel like I’m repeating myself. The same outcomes all happening the same way.”
Luke Hudson (5-3, 4.65 ERA), Kansas City’s most consistent pitcher of late, will try to prevent the sweep when he starts on Sunday. Hudson has won five consecutive decisions since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha on June 30.
The right-hander pitched two scoreless innings of relief to beat St. Louis on July 1, and is 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA in six starts since entering the starting rotation.
He’s won three straight outings, hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any start and has lowered his ERA from 8.74 since being recalled from the minors.
“Huddy did it again, just like he’s been doing every since he came back from Omaha,” Bell said after Hudson beat Boston 6-4 on Tuesday.
Hudson allowed eight hits and seven runs in 2 1-3 innings in his only start against Cleveland on June 25, 2005, when he was with Cincinnati.
After not earning a decision in his last two starts, Jeremy Sowers (3-3, 3.93) looks for a victory when he takes the mound for Cleveland on Sunday.
The 23-year-old left-hander allowed two runs in five innings at Boston on Aug. 2 and four runs in seven innings to the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, but failed to earn a win either time as the Indians bullpen let him down.
“All I can say is I went seven innings and gave up four runs,” Sowers said after Tuesday’s contest. “When I left, we were in the game.”
Sowers had thrown consecutive complete game shutouts in his two previous starts, and has lowered his ERA from 7.47.