The Guardians hit three home runs in the series opener on Thursday en route to a 6-1 victory, their fourth win in their past six games
The win improved their record to 43-44 and kept them 1 1/2 games behind the Minnesota Twins for first place in the American League Central.
The last time Cleveland was .500 was on April 28 (13-13), when it beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2. Two other times in the past week the Guardians had a chance to get back to an even mark, but they lost 4-2 to the Atlanta Braves on Monday and 8-1 to the Braves on Wednesday
One of the home runs on Thursday belonged to Josh Naylor, who had missed the previous two games with a sore wrist.
Andres Gimenez also homered and scored three runs for the Guardians. In six games this month, he’s 8-for-21 with four extra-base hits and seven runs scored
“I’ve been putting a lot of work in at the cages with the coaches,” Gimenez said after the win on Thursday. “They’re doing a tremendous job with me, getting me with a routine and doing the same stuff every day, so I’m very grateful to them.”
The Royals plan to send left-hander Daniel Lynch to the mound in an effort to end their four-game losing streak
Lynch (2-3, 4.14 ERA) won his most recent outing on Saturday, allowing three runs and five hits in five innings of a 6-4 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After the Royals staked him to a 5-0 lead after the first inning, Lynch kept Kansas City ahead before the bullpen did the rest
“I really can’t take any credit,” Lynch said. “(Royals catcher Salvador Perez) was awesome. The offense gave me a cushion in the beginning. … I don’t feel like I did what I needed to do (against the Dodgers). I was picked up by the team, which was awesome.
Lynch is 0-3 in five career starts against Cleveland with an 8.87 ERA.
Cleveland plans to start right-hander Aaron Civale (2-2, 2.96). He was solid in his most recent outing last Sunday, allowing one run and three hits in six innings against the Chicago Cubs. He left with a 6-1 lead but the Cubs tied the score with four runs in the bottom of ninth before the Guardians won 8-6 in 10 innings
Civale is 2-1 with a 4.12 ERA in seven career starts against the Royals
He made his final two regular-season starts against Kansas City last season and won both games.
Civale will need to be alert to Kansas City’s speed.
“They can run, and they use it,” Francona said. “The ball better end up where it’s supposed to.”
–Field Level Media
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