MLB

Royals-Indians Preview

As the Cleveland Indians look to extend their AL Central lead over the visiting Kansas City Royals, Corey Kluber hopes to rebound from another rough home outing.

The right-hander has the chance to do so Sunday when the Indians try to complete a four-game sweep of the Royals.

Francisco Lindor and Rajai Davis each had three hits Saturday for Cleveland (30-24), which scored four times in the sixth inning to break open a one-run game before winning 7-1. The Indians moved one-half game ahead of the Royals (30-25), who had won six in a row prior to this series.

"It feels good, but we have a long way to go," Lindor told MLB's official website. "We have a lot of work to do. But, the guys are doing good. We're playing the game the right way. We're pushing each other.

"Overall, the guys have done a great job and I'm blessed to be a part of it."

Kansas City has totaled six runs through three games of this set after averaging 7.1 to win eight of the previous nine.

''That's baseball, every team in our division has been up and down this year,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''It's way too early in the season to get worked up about a couple of games, and we're not going to.''

Kluber (4-6, 4.15 ERA) gave up three earned runs over 14 1/3 innings to win two straight starts - on the road - before yielding six and eight hits in seven-plus of Tuesday's 7-3 loss to Texas. The defeat dropped him to 1-4 and raised his ERA to 5.29 at Progressive Field.

''Over the course of a 162-game season, you're going to have a bad four- or five-game stretch," said Kluber, who has a 3.18 ERA in six road outings. "You'd like to think it all evens out."

Kluber went 1-4 with a 4.36 ERA against the Royals last season, but that victory came while yielding a run during his complete-game effort at home July 29.

Eric Hosmer went 6 for 14 with three doubles and a home run against Kluber in 2015. He's hitless over six at-bats in two games after going 15 for 28 with 12 RBIs in the previous seven.

Salvador Perez, 4 for 23 with eight strikeouts against Kluber, won't start this contest after recording two hits Saturday in his return from missing six games with a bruised left thigh.

Perez's backup Drew Butera, who homered in each of the first two of this set, is 7 for 16 with five RBIs in his last five games. He's 0 for 6 against Kluber.

After pitching four scoreless innings in two relief appearances since coming off the disabled list last Saturday, Kansas City's Chris Young (2-5, 5.94) will make his first start since May 9.

The right-hander went 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA in three starts against the Indians last season.

Jason Kipnis is 6 for 14 with a homer and two doubles against Young, and batting .358 in his last 16 games against Kansas City.

Lindor is 6 for 13 with a home run, triple and two doubles in the first three games of this set after going 0 for 11 in the previous three.

''Lindor is real good hitting right-handed, but really, he's just a special player,'' Yost said.

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