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Preview: Royals (70-55) at Indians (64-61)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Game: 1
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: July 04, 2014 7:05 PM EDT
  

The Cleveland Indians' Josh Tomlin had gotten knocked around before turning in one of the team's best single-game showings last weekend.

He faces a tough task up next against the Kansas City Royals, who continue to shine on the road.

Tomlin tries to build on his first shutout as the AL Central rivals open a three-game set Friday night.

Tomlin (5-5, 3.78 ERA) lost a career worst-tying three straight starts with a 7.80 ERA before overpowering Seattle in Saturday's 5-0 road win. The right-hander struck out a career-high 11 and allowed only a fifth-inning single to Kyle Seager, marking just the sixth time an Indians pitcher recorded 11 strikeouts with no walks in a shutout over the past 100 years.

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"He's not going to beat himself," manager Terry Francona told MLB's official website. "He understands what to do with a lead. He was just efficient and threw a bunch of strikes with a bunch of different pitches."

Tomlin is 5-2 despite a 4.80 ERA in 10 games - eight starts - against the Royals, who he hasn't faced since 2012.

Kansas City (44-40) took two of three at Minnesota to open a nine-game trip, winning 4-0 in Wednesday's finale. Raul Ibanez homered in his second game since joining the team as a free agent and Jason Vargas threw seven strong innings.

The Royals have averaged 6.1 runs in going a major league-best 10-2 away from home since June 2.

"We've been running the ball out there and doing a good job of keeping our team in the ballgame, and when we're not the boys are stepping up and keeping us in the ballgame," Vargas said. "So we've got a good combo going on right now."

The Royals now turn to Yordano Ventura (5-7, 3.26), who allowed two runs and seven hits over four innings before his day was cut short due to a four-hour rain delay in Saturday's 6-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.

The rookie had gone seven innings in each of his previous three starts, including a 4-1 victory over the Indians on June 11. The hard-throwing right-hander yielded one run and six hits, improving to 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two matchups in the series.

The Indians (41-43) return home after closing a 4-4 road trip with back-to-back wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"We went 4-4, but it seems like we were gone a month,' Francona said after Cleveland held on for a 5-4 victory Wednesday. "It's been a long trip, and this was a good way to end it. We won a tough game. That was a good one to win."

The Indians had won 11 of 12 at Progressive Field before losing three straight to division-leading Detroit from June 20-22. Owner of the Central's best home record at 23-15, Cleveland has taken nine of 12 from Kansas City at home.

At 42, Ibanez is the oldest Royal to hit a home run. He was signed Monday after the Angels cut him June 21.

"When we signed him, we talked to a lot of people, and all of our scouts," manager Ned Yost said. "And a lot of people said they felt that he still had a lot left to his game. He's showing that."

Alex Gordon - mired in a 2-for-32 slump - is 8 for 23 with four extra-base hits against Tomlin.

Indians catcher Yan Gomes is batting .326 over a 12-game stretch and has seven RBIs over his last seven. He's hitting .185 with two RBIs in 16 contests versus Kansas City, though.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 SERIES AT A GLANCE
GAME 1
Royals at Indians
Fri, Jul 4 Final 7 to 1
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 2
Royals at Indians
Sat, Jul 5 Final 3 to 7
 Boxscores    Recaps
GAME 3
Royals at Indians
Sun, Jul 6 Final 1 to 4
 Boxscores    Recaps

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 KAN  +100   -220   7.5 
 CLE  -110   +180   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 KAN  +102   -210   7.5 
 CLE  -112   +177   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   RUN   O/U 
 KAN  44%   52%   71% 
 CLE  56%   48%   29% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 MLB HEAD TO HEAD
 Jun 11, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 CLE 1 Under: 5 
 KAN 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jun 10, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 CLE 5 Over: 14 
 KAN 9 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 24, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 1 Under: 6 
 CLE 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 23, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 3 Over: 8 
 CLE 5 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 22, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 8 Cover: +100 
 CLE 2 Over: 10 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 21, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 3 Under: 7 
 CLE 4 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 13, 2014  Score  ATS Results 
 KAN 6 Over: 18 
 CLE 12 Cover: +100 
 Tools:   Recaps

 MLB PREVIEWS
 Friday, Jul 4
 
    Cubs at Nationals
11:05 AM EDT
    Orioles at Red Sox
1:35 PM EDT
    Yankees at Twins
3:10 PM EDT
    Blue Jays at Athletics
4:05 PM EDT
    Phillies at Pirates
5:05 PM EDT
    Giants at Padres
6:40 PM EDT
    Rays at Tigers
7:05 PM EDT
    Royals at Indians
7:05 PM EDT
    Mariners at White Sox
7:10 PM EDT
    Rangers at Mets
7:10 PM EDT
    Brewers at Reds
7:10 PM EDT
    Marlins at Cardinals
7:15 PM EDT
    Diamondbacks at Braves
7:35 PM EDT
    Dodgers at Rockies
8:10 PM EDT
    Astros at Angels
9:05 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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