Cleveland (49-69) at Kansas City (49-69)

Fair Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Tue Aug 17, 2010
  • TV: STO, FSKC
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Cleveland Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez(notes) knew he was heading back to the minors prior to making his major league debut last month. The way Gomez has been performing, he might not have to worry about a return to Triple-A.

Gomez looks to remain undefeated when the visiting Indians open a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Before making his major league debut against Detroit on July 18 in a spot start for Justin Masterson(notes), Gomez (3-0, 1.54 ERA) was told he was returning to the minors after that game, in which he allowed two unearned runs and five hits over seven innings to beat the Tigers 7-2.

Gomez was recalled Aug. 1 and is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA in three starts this month.

The 22-year-old gave up one run over six innings of Thursday’s 4-1 win over Baltimore, setting a franchise record for lowest ERA through his first four career starts. Manager Manny Acta is more than impressed with how Gomez, the youngest player on a club with nine rookies, has responded to major league hitters.

“For his age, his composure is above-average,” Acta told MLB’s official website. “… He hasn’t been intimidated by anything up here so far. There are times out there when he looks like he’s probably better off down there developing, but he’s pitched well four times for us now.”

Gomez will try to help the Indians (49-69) win consecutive games for the first since taking three straight July 31-Aug. 2. They ended a 3-6 homestand with Sunday’s 9-1 win over Seattle as designated hitter Travis Hafner(notes) returned from the disabled list and hit his 11th career grand slam during a seven-run seventh inning.

“There’s not a whole lot of experience on our team right now,” Hafner told the Indians’ official website. “If I’m feeling healthy, I wanted to get back as fast as I could. They left it up to me, and I just wanted to get back.”

Hafner has plenty of experience against Tuesday’s scheduled starter Zack Greinke(notes) (7-11, 3.99), going 11 for 35 with a homer and 12 strikeouts.

The Royals (49-69), who have won five of seven at Kauffman Stadium, will look for a strong performance from the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner as they continue their 10-game homestand.

Greinke, though, is 5-5 with a 4.79 ERA in 12 home starts this season. The right-hander went 10-3 with a 1.70 ERA in 17 starts at Kauffman Stadium in 2009.

After going 1-2 with an 8.05 ERA in his previous three starts, Greinke allowed one run over eight innings in Wednesday’s 2-1, 10-inning road loss to Los Angeles.

Greinke struck out eight and yielded three runs over six innings of a 6-4 win against Cleveland on May 13 to move to 3-0 with a 2.52 ERA in his last four starts versus the Indians at Kauffman Stadium.

He’ll be trying to slow down Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera(notes), who has four consecutive two-hit games and is batting .314 this month. Cabrera is 11 for 24 lifetime against Greinke.

Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt(notes), who is 6 for 19 with five RBIs in five games against Cleveland this season, is batting .419 with three homers and six RBIs in his last nine games.

Beginning Tuesday, Cleveland and Kansas City meet 13 times in the final seven weeks of the season.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Gómez Pit vs. Z. Greinke LAD
4-5 Record 10-14
4.68 ERA 4.17
34 K 181
22 BB 55
1.65 WHIP 1.25

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Aug 17