Pregame Notes: Cleveland Indians Look to Win Series, End Corey Kluber’s Winless Drought


Kluber still in search of first win

The Cleveland Indians need this win to help gain a little bit of ground in the AL Central. The Kansas City Royal need it to hold on to their division lead. But the Indians

Corey Kluber

(0-4, 4.62) and the Royals

Edinson Volquez

(2-3, 2.10) need them as well. Kluber has been less than impressive, and it’s been 26 years since a team has gone winless in this many starts of a defending

Cy Young

winner. For Volquez, he’s pitched well, but been the recipient of some tough luck. The two will square off in today’s rubber game.

The Indians (10-16) offense hasn’t been much help to Kluber, as he’s gotten very little run support (2.08 runs per game), but his performance hasn’t matched that of last season. Opponents have gone after Kluber early in the count, and it’s paid off. They’re batting .448 on the first pitch, .545 on a 0-1 count and .444 on a 1-0 delivery. Hitters are at .172 on 2-2 pitches and 1 for 10 on a full count. In the last 12 games, the offense is averaging 5.9 runs per game, after averaging 3.1 in their first 14.

The Royals (17-10) hope Volquez can keep up his solid pitching, but his numbers against the Indians are by far his worst. In three starts, he’s 1-2, although he hasn’t faced them since 2011. His ERA against them is a whopping 12.19, the worst against any opponent he has faced more than once. The Royals will be counting on Mike Moustakas, who has a .440 (11-for-25) average with one homer, two walks and five doubles against the right-hander.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 pm ET at Kauffman Stadium.

Here are the lineup’s for today’s series finale: