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Preview: Indians (69-63) at Royals (74-59)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 2
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium
Date: September 17, 2013 8:10 PM EDT
  

In the thick of the playoff race, the Kansas City Royals are hoping to get a boost from one of their top pitching prospects.

Yordano Ventura is set to make his major league debut Tuesday night as the Royals continue a crucial three-game home set against the Cleveland Indians.

The highly touted 22-year-old right-hander will replace original scheduled starter Danny Duffy, who is dealing with inflammation in his surgically repaired left elbow. Ventura's repertoire includes an impressive curveball and a fastball that touches triple digits.

"This is the highest level of baseball," he said through teammate Bruce Chen, "so every time I go out there to pitch I'm going to give everything I can in my power, so I can do a good job."

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Ventura began the season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas before moving to Triple-A Omaha, where he went 5-4 with a 3.74 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 77 innings.

"We're all excited to see Ventura pitch," manager Ned Yost said. "I've had my eye on this guy - like we've all had - for two or three years, watching him come up in the system."

Ventura will try to deliver for a Royals team that has won 15 of 22 following Monday's 7-1 victory. Salvador Perez had three of the team's 14 hits as Kansas City (79-71) moved 2 1/2 games behind Texas for the AL's second wild-card spot.

"Every game is important," winning pitcher James Shields said. "This is what we live for, this is what we play for, September baseball, and hopefully we have a chance to go to the playoffs."

The Indians (81-69), who had won four in a row against the White Sox by a 32-6 margin, remain one-half game behind the Rangers, who also lost Monday.

"We couldn't get that big hit," said designated hitter Jason Giambi, whose team dropped six games behind AL Central-leading Detroit with 12 to play. "We hit a few balls, but we couldn't drive in that big run."

The Indians will try to avoid a fourth straight loss in Kansas City behind Corey Kluber (9-5, 3.55), who has won both his starts after missing a month with a sprained finger. The right-hander gave up two runs in five innings Thursday in a 14-3 road win over the White Sox.

"I was a little sloppy to start out with," he told MLB's official website. "I think I was kind of inconsistent with my delivery early on and I wasn't getting my arm in a good slot, pitch after pitch."

Kluber struck out eight over 7 2-3 innings of three-hit ball in a 3-0 win over the Royals on July 12, improving to 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts in the series this year. Eric Hosmer is 0 for 10 in their matchups this season, and Billy Butler and Alex Gordon are both 1 for 9. Gordon's hit, though, was a home run.

Perez, 2 for 5 with a double against Kluber, is hitting .367 with seven homers and 26 RBIs over a 27-game stretch.

Ventura, meanwhile, will need to be careful against Nick Swisher, who is batting .333 with five homers and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games. Swisher, though, is 9 for 51 (.176) with just one RBI in his past 15 games versus Kansas City.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Indians at Royals
Mon, Sep 16 Final 1 to 7
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Indians at Royals
Tue, Sep 17 Final 5 to 3
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Indians at Royals
Wed, Sep 18 Final 2 to 7
 Boxscores    Recaps

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 CLE         
 KAN         
BT MOVEMENTS

 
 
  
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