Sports

Royals return home to face Tribe

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals hope a return home will get them back on track Tuesday when they start a three-game set with the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City capped a disappointing road trip with a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Yordano Ventura gave up one run and struck out six over seven strong frames, while Alex Gordon had three of the four hits for Kansas City, which lost for the fifth time in six games.

"Just tough hitting conditions for both teams," said Gordon. "Ventura had a great game, we just came up a little short."

Kansas City, which fell a half-game behind the red-hot Minnesota Twins in the AL Central, was just 1-5 on the road trip, but now returns home where it is 17-7 on the year.

Getting the call for Kansas City on Tuesday will be righty Jeremy Guthrie, who was hammered by the New York Yankees his last time out. Guthrie couldn't get out of the second inning last Monday, as he allowed 11 runs and nine hits - including four home runs - with three walks in just one-plus inning of work.

He became the second starter since at least 1914 to give up at least 11 earned runs while pitching no more than one inning. Prior to that game, though, Guthrie had turned in a 1.96 ERA in his previous three outings.

"I'm sure it was more than just command, but that was a part of it. ... Most of the damage they did was a credit to them," said Guthrie, who is 4-3 on the year with a 6.70 ERA. "I don't know if they were good pitches, but they were executed (the way we planned them)."

Cleveland, meanwhile, will be sad to see the calendar turn to June, as it was 17-12 in May, good enough for the third best mark in the AL. The Tribe closed the month with two straight wins and a series victory, as they capped the four-game affair with a 6-3 win in 12 innings on Sunday.

The Indians, who have won 10 of 12, pounded out 18 hits but left runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings before finally coming through with three in the 12th.

"There was a lot of frustration during the game, but we kept at it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I was glad, when we got one, we got more, because you know that they've got those big guys coming up, if anybody gets on base."

Hoping to keep the Tribe rolling on Tuesday will be right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who has won four of his last six starts. Carrasco won his second straight outing on Wednesday against Texas, as he allowed just a run and five hits in eight innings to run his record to 6-4 to go along with a 4.24 ERA.

"We had an 11-run lead, so they're going to be aggressive," Carrasco said. "You have to stay aggressive. That's what I did. I think (saving the bullpen) helped a little bit. The last two games, we used the bullpen a lot. I just went out there and tried to put zeroes on the board."

Kansas City has won four of six from the Indians this season.