(SportsNetwork.com) - Corey Kluber takes another shot at his first win of the season on Thursday when the Cleveland Indians complete their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Kluber ran into some tough luck his first three times out, but he has been awful his last three times out. That was the case on Saturday, as Toronto ripped the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner for five runs (4 earned) and eight hits in five innings, dropping him to 0-4 on the year to go along with a 4.62 ERA.
"I thought early, he was fighting his fastball command, especially to his arm side," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Kluber. "So, he started out throwing a lot of cutters. Once they kind of got a bead on that, he never was able really to command his fastball like he can or will."
Over his past three starts, Kluber has a 7.27 ERA with a .397 opponents' average and 1.030 opponents' OPS in 17 1/3 innings.
"I think the biggest thing is probably just needing to sequence a little better," he said. "I'm not doing that good of a job of keeping guys honest. For the most part, guys are kind of hanging out over the plate and, when they're doing that, you kind of eliminate one half of the plate. So, when you do make a mistake, it's kind of magnified."
Kluber has faced the Royals 10 times and is 4-2 against them with a 3.11 ERA.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will turn to righty Edinson Volquez, who has lost three of his last four starts. Volquez fell to Detroit on Saturday and was charged with a pair of runs and five hits in six innings to drop to 2-3 with a 2.10 ERA.
Volquez is 1-2 in three starts with a 12.19 ERA.
On Wednesday, all nine Cleveland starters had at least one hit and seven drove in runs in the Indians' 10-3 drubbing of the Royals.
Brandon Moss homered, drove in three and scored twice to back Carlos Carrasco (4-2), who struck out six in seven innings of three-run ball.
"I thought (Carrasco) did really well," said Indians pitcher Terry Francona. "He pitched really effectively against a lineup that feels pretty good about themselves."
Mike Aviles had three hits while he and Carlos Santana also scored twice in Cleveland's most balanced performance of the season.
Royals starter Danny Duffy had given up just six earned runs over his last four starts and Kansas City had won his last eight outings at home, but you wouldn't have known it watching the young lefty on Wednesday.
Duffy (2-1) was pulled before recording an out in the second inning and was charged with four runs on six hits.
"I just didn't have my stuff tonight," said Duffy. "It's a weird feeling that I haven't had in a long time."
The Indians lost two of three meetings with the Royals from April 27-29 and have won seven of the previous 12 matchups between AL Central foes.