Kansas City (12-11) at Cleveland (14-8)

Fair Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Wed Apr 27, 2011
  • TV: FSKC, STO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Josh Tomlin(notes) had one of his best starts of the season against the Kansas City Royals last week, but failed to earn a winning decision for the first time this year.

Tomlin will get another chance to beat the Royals on Wednesday night as his Cleveland Indians try to win their ninth straight at home for the first time in nearly six years.

In just his second season in the majors, Tomlin (3-0, 2.33 ERA) is off to an impressive start, giving up seven runs and 17 hits over 27 innings.

After winning his first three starts, he seemed on his way to another victory in Kansas City on Thursday. Tomlin allowed one run and five hits in a season-high 7 1-3 innings, but Cleveland’s bullpen couldn’t protect the lead in a 3-2 loss.

Tomlin, who is 2-1 with a 4.44 ERA in four starts against the Royals, has won five straight decisions going back to last season. That stretch began with a complete-game 7-3 home victory against Kansas City on Sept. 24.

Wilson Betemit(notes), however, is 5 for 10 with two homers and a double against Tomlin.

Tomlin takes the mound after Cleveland (14-8) opened its six-game homestand with a 9-4 win over Kansas City (12-11) on Tuesday. The Indians hit five home runs, including a pair of solo shots by Jack Hannahan(notes), while Justin Masterson(notes) improved to 5-0.

Grady Sizemore(notes) had two doubles and a homer for his third three-hit game against the Royals this season.

“It’s not the same guy doing it every time,” Masterson said. “It’s a different guy, that’s what makes this fun. Guys are making plays here, there and everywhere. … We’re kind of doing it collectively, and it’s kind of the sign of a pretty good team.”

The Indians, who have the AL’s best record, have been especially impressive at home, winning eight straight while outscoring opponents 48-17. They haven’t won nine in a row at Progressive Field since May 27-June 19, 2005.

Meanwhile, Kansas City is struggling. Tuesday’s loss was the Royals’ fourth straight to begin this road trip and seventh in nine games overall after a 10-4 start. Luke Hochevar(notes) gave up six runs in 6 1-3 innings as the team’s rotation fell to 0-5 with a 7.44 ERA in the last six games.

“It hasn’t affected our confidence,” designated hitter Billy Butler(notes) said. “We have to battle through it. That’s all we can do. You go through it during the season and keep coming to the park ready to win.”

The Royals, who have lost four straight in Cleveland, hope Jeff Francis(notes) (0-2, 4.06) can help end their skid. However, he is coming off his shortest start of the year after yielding season highs of six runs and nine hits - including two homers - in four-plus innings of an 11-6 loss to Texas on Friday.

Francis had posted a quality start in each of his four previous outings.

The left-hander hasn’t faced the Indians since 2008, when he gave up one earned run in six innings of a 4-2 win while with Colorado.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Francis Tor vs. J. Tomlin Cle
6-16 Record 12-7
4.82 ERA 4.25
91 K 89
39 BB 21
1.44 WHIP 1.08

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Apr 27