Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals Pick & Prediction SEPTEMBER 20th 2023

Stadium: Kauffman Stadium Kansas City
Logo Cleveland Indians
Logo Kansas City Royals

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The Kansas City Royals will look to push the visiting Cleveland Guardians closer to the brink of elimination from postseason contention on Wednesday afternoon.

The Royals benefited from a four-run eighth inning to record a 6-4 win in the opener of the three-game series on Monday. Then MJ Melendez homered, drove in three runs and scored three times in Kansas City's 7-6 victory on Tuesday.

Melendez has answered a dismal 0-for-19 run over a six-game stretch by going 6-for-14 with five RBIs over his past five.

"Hopefully he's taking every opportunity he gets (to improve), and that's what it looks like," Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. "He made a couple nice plays in the field (Tuesday) as well, running the bases aggressively. So his total game has been really good lately."

Maikel Garcia had three hits on Tuesday to improve to 9-for-26 in his past seven games for cellar-dwelling Kansas City (50-102), which has won six of those contests.

Cleveland (72-80) has dropped 10 of its past 16 to fall eight games behind the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins (80-72) with 10 games to play. Any combination of three Twins wins or Guardians losses will eliminate Cleveland from the AL Central race.

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Andres Gimenez swiped his 30th bag on Tuesday, making him just the third Cleveland second baseman to steal 30 bases in a season. Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar accomplished the feat three times from 1999-2001, and Jason Kipnis did it in both 2012 and '13.

"It feels good. You obviously put a lot of work in the offseason just to be healthy. But we lose the game, so you know," Gimenez said with a shrug.


Kansas City's Zack Greinke (1-15, 5.39 ERA) will take the mound on Wednesday against Cleveland's Lucas Giolito (8-13, 4.69) in a battle of right-handers.

Greinke, 39, most recently allowed three hits over two scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Houston Astros on Friday.

The 2009 AL Cy Young Award recipient sports a 12-10 record with a 3.50 ERA in 37 career appearances (32 starts) vs. the Guardians. Greinke is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts against Cleveland this year.

Giolito, 29, ended a five-start losing skid in style on Friday. He scattered two hits and a walk while striking out a season-high 12 batters over seven shutout innings in a 12-3 victory against the Texas Rangers.

"I had the type of start that I like to have every fifth day," Giolito said. "Being here in this environment with these guys, it's been very nice after a very hectic month-plus."

Giolito will look to win back-to-back outings on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since May 30 and June 6 -- before he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels and subsequently claimed off waivers by Cleveland.

While pitching for the Chicago White Sox, Giolito won a pair of starts against Kansas City in May. He yielded a total of three runs on 11 hits in 12 innings with 13 strikeouts and three walks.

Giolito is 11-5 with a 3.54 ERA in 22 career appearances (all starts) vs. the Royals.

--Field Level Media

Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals

Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals Recap SEP 20TH 2023

MJ Melendez homered, drove in three runs and scored three times to fuel the host Kansas City Royals to a 7-6 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday.

Kansas City's Nick Loftin had a pair of RBI singles, and Tyler Cropley collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly in his major league. Maikel Garcia had three of the 13 hits for the Royals (50-102), who have won six of their past seven games.

Alec Marsh (2-8) picked up his second win in as many outings after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits in 4 1/3 innings in relief of opener Steven Cruz.

Kansas City scored three times in the fifth inning to seize a 7-2 lead before Cleveland (72-80) slowly chipped away. Steven Kwan ripped a two-run triple in the sixth, Andres Gimenez added an RBI triple in the seventh and Bo Naylor sent a 2-1 fastball from Carlos Hernandez over the wall in right-center field in the eighth for a solo shot.

Royals reliever James McArthur entered the game with runners on the corners and no outs in the eighth inning. He ended the threat by striking out Josh Naylor, Kole Calhoun and Ramon Laureano to preserve the 7-6 lead.

Collin Snider retired the side in order in the ninth inning to secure his first career save.

Melendez deposited a 2-1 offering from rookie Logan Allen (7-8) over the wall in right-center field to stake Kansas City to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The homer was Melendez's 15th of the season and first since Sept. 5.

The Royals doubled their advantage to 4-0 in the third inning when Melendez had an RBI single and scored on Loftin's base hit.

Allen was saddled with the loss after permitting four runs on eight hits in three innings. He struck out one and walked two.

Cleveland halved its deficit in the fifth inning, with Josh Naylor's single to center field plating both Kwan and Jose Ramirez.

The Royals scratched for three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to seize a 7-2 lead. Melendez scored following a fielding error by first baseman Josh Naylor, Loftin had an RBI infield single to second base and Cropley capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

--Field Level Media