(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals look to rebound when they open a three-game series Tuesday versus the Cleveland Indians.
The defending American League champion Royals split a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers this weekend and lost the last two installments, including Sunday's 6-2 defeat at Kauffman Stadium.
Jeremy Guthrie served up 11 hits and allowed all six runs in six innings of work. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.
"I thought we could have won three out of the four, quite honestly," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I felt we had a great opportunity to win that game last night."
Erik Kratz, Omar Infante, Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales had one RBI apiece for the Royals, who had won four of five games prior to their current slide.
Jason Vargas will toe the rubber for Kansas City on Tuesday and he has a 2-1 record with a 5.95 earned run average in four starts. Vargas was victorious in last Monday's 6-2 victory at Cleveland and limited the Tribe to a pair of runs and three hits in five innings.
Vargas allowed nine runs in his previous two starts. The lefty is 4-3 with a 5.05 ERA in 10 career starts against the Indians.
Cleveland went 3-4 on its trip against the Royals and Toronto Blue Jays, and recorded a series split with the Jays thanks to Sunday's 10-7 win in the finale of a four-game set.
Jason Kipnis went 4-for-5 with a solo home run, two RBI and three runs scored, while Michael Brantley, Brandon Moss and Ryan Raburn each drove in a pair of runs for the Indians.
"That's a great team effort," Brantley said. "The passion that we showed, the never-give-up attitude, that's what we need to continue to do."
Trevor Bauer was clobbered for six runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. Marc Rzepczynski got the win with an inning of scoreless relief.
The Indians will get a boost in the lineup with the return of Nick Swisher. The veteran was out for almost a year after surgery on both knees.
"We were adamant all along that, regardless of how we were playing, we wanted to do what was right by Swish," Indians skipper Terry Francona said. "I think we kind of held to that, even when it wasn't really easy. We talked to him multiple times (on Sunday), and he was adamant that he is ready to go and ready to help us."
Danny Salazar has helped the Tribe with a 3-0 mark in three starts and a 3.32 earned run average. Salazar won his last outing on April 29 over the Royals, but it wasn't pretty. He allowed a season-high four runs in six innings, striking out seven and not issuing a walk.
Salazar is 3-3 with a 5.45 ERA in six career starts against KC.
The Indians recently lost two of three meetings with the Royals from April 27-29 and has won six of the previous 10 matchups between AL Central foes.