Indians could be without some power vs. Royals
Asdrubal Cabrera's power surge has been as surprising as game series with the Kansas City Royals.
Cabrera connected on his 22nd homer of the season in the third inning of last night's 5-4 victory. The shortstop, who had never had more than six home runs in a season prior to 2011, smacked his two-run shot just after fouling a ball off his left knee and would be forced to leave the game a half-inning later.
The 25-year-old was diagnosed with a left knee contusion and is day-to-day.
"He's banged up," Cleveland manager Manny Acta said on his team's website. "But we took him for X-rays and it's normal -- negative. We're going to evaluate him when he shows up [on Saturday]."
Jason Donald added a solo homer in last night's win and Justin Masterson allowed four runs over seven innings to earn the victory, which kept Cleveland 5 1/2 games behind first-place Detroit in the American League Central.
"His stuff was better than it was the last time we faced him," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Masterson.
The Indians have won six of eight and turn tonight to David Huff, who is set to make his seventh appearance and sixth start of the season tonight off a solid effort to beat the Athletics on Monday.
In picking up his first win since July 18, Huff hurled six scoreless innings of three-hit ball, walking two and striking out four. He is 2-2 with a 2.08 earned run average this season and hasn't allowed a run in three of his five starts.
"He was aggressive in the zone with his fastball and his cutter, especially against the right-handers," said Acta.
The 27-year-old lefty will make his fourth career start versus the Royals and is 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA against them lifetime.
Taking the mound for the Royals is Luke Hochevar, who snapped a four-start winless streak (0-2) on Monday at Detroit despite allowing five runs on eight hits over seven-plus innings. Still, he got plenty of support in a 9-5 victory, his first since Aug. 3.
The right-hander is 9-10 with a 4.97 ERA in 28 starts this year and will face the Indians for the first time since back-to-back losses in late April. He allowed 12 runs over 12 1/3 total innings, giving up three homers in the second meeting at Cleveland on April 26.
The 27-year-old served up a pair of homers to Jack Hannahan, while Matt LaPorta also took Hochevar deep.
Kansas City has lost three of its last four games and got a two-run homer from Alex Gordon on Friday. Bruce Chen, though, had his personal win streak end at five games after allowing five runs over six innings.
Mike Moustakas saw his 15-game hit streak, which matched a Royals rookie record, come to an end.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar left last night's game with a sprained left ankle and could sit out tonight's contest.
Cleveland is 11-5 against the Royals this season.