MLB

1
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Kansas City1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 160
Cleveland0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 031
0
  W: J. Junis (6-8)   L: A. Plutko (3-2)   S: I. Kennedy (17)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, July 20, 2019
Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio  Attendance: 31,958

Indians look to stay hot against Royals

According to STATS
According to STATS

Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians

  1. Kansas City swept a three-game set with Cleveland in mid-April, but the Indians have since gone 5-1 against the Royals, posting a .308/.380/.543 slash line with 11 home runs in those six games. Cleveland has won the season series with Kansas City in 13 of the last 15 years.
  2. The Royals lead MLB in batting average (.330) and on-base percentage (.398) since the All-Star break, and their 6-1 record trails only the Giants (7-1). Their pitching staff has allowed only five home runs since the break, fewest in MLB.
  3. The Indians have gone 10-2 in July, second in MLB behind the Giants (12-2). Their pitching staff has a 2.67 ERA and .216 opponent batting average in the month -- these marks each rank third in MLB.
  4. Hunter Dozier has scored nine runs in seven games since the All-Star break -- only Brandon Crawford (11) and Ramon Laureano (10) have scored more. Dozier went 6-for-11 with four runs scored in his first 2019 series against the Indians, but he's gone 2-for-24 with one run in six games against the club since.
  5. Jose Ramirez's six extra-base hits since the All-Star break are tied for the most by any American Leaguer, and his 10-game hit streak entering the series trails only Matt Olson (13) and Luis Arraez (11) in MLB - it is his longest hit streak since June 2017.
  6. Whit Merrifield had a 15-game hit streak snapped with an 0-for-5 day yesterday. That 15-game streak was the longest by a Royal this season, and was his longest hit streak within a single season since a 19-gamer in 2017. His 10 three-hit games this season are tied for third most by an American Leaguer.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/19/2019 thru 7/21/2019
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Oscar Mercado was as cold as can be to begin the month of July, but the rookie sure is heating up now.

Fresh off his first career five-hit performance, Mercado bids to provide an encore as the surging Cleveland Indians aim to record a season-high seventh straight victory on Saturday against the visiting Kansas City Royals.

Mercado collected four singles and a double in Cleveland's 10-5 win in the series opener to improve to 10-for-19 with three homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored in his last five games.

"It feels good, but I think it feels even better to be playing the way we are," the 24-year-old Mercado said. "I have this thing that today is already over, you enjoy it for tonight, and be ready to play tomorrow."

Mercado's hot streak comes on the heels of his disastrous 1-for-25 stretch with six strikeouts to begin July.

"Everybody's going to go through a tough stretch, but you know a first-year player is," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "To see him not wilt, to see him come back with a vengeance, that's pretty exciting."

Mercado isn't alone in swinging a hot bat for the Indians, as Jose Ramirez is riding an 11-game hitting streak and Tyler Naquin has recorded multi-hit performances in six of his last seven starts.

Naquin, who belted a two-run shot on Friday, has six doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs in 11 games this month.

Keeping Cleveland in check on Saturday will be the responsibility of right-hander Jakob Junis (5-8, 5.08 ERA), who allowed one run on five hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters in Monday's 5-2 win over the Chicago White Sox.

The victory was the first since May 30 for Junis, who permitted 11 runs on 15 hits to drop back-to-back decisions to Cleveland on June 26 and July 2, respectively.

Junis sports a 2-4 record with a 6.43 ERA in nine career appearances (eight starts) against Cleveland.

Francisco Lindor, who had three hits and three runs scored on Friday, is a robust 11-for-22 with six extra-base hits (three homers, three doubles) and nine RBIs against the 26-year-old Junis.

Cleveland right-hander Adam Plutko (3-1, 5.40 ERA) will take the mound after recording four straight no-decisions, including one on June 24 when he allowed one run on one hit -- a solo homer by Whit Merrifield -- in four innings versus Kansas City.

Plutko answered that outing by yielding back-to-back five-run performances, with three homers surrendered against Detroit on Monday.

The 27-year-old owns an 0-1 mark with a 5.06 ERA in three career appearances (two starts) versus the Royals.

Merrifield, who ripped a three-run triple on Friday, is 19-for-48 with seven extra-base hits (four doubles, one triple, two homers), nine RBIs and eight runs scored versus Cleveland this season.

"Offense did a nice job and (Merrifield) got us within one at that point and we had to do the best we can to hold it, but ... it got away from us late," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said.

--Field Level Media

Updated July 20, 2019


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