Indians-Royals Preview

Updated: May 15, 2011, 6:14 PM ET
Associated Press

Heavy rains have postponed the Cleveland Indians' last two games, and they hope the momentum of an emotional victory hasn't worn off. The Kansas City Royals hope their extra day helps get them back on track.

Each coming off rainouts, the Indians and Royals begin a short two-game set Monday night in Kansas City.

Cleveland (24-13) trailed heading into the ninth inning Friday against Seattle, but Travis Hafner hit a game-winning two-run homer to give the Indians a 5-4 victory. They hoped to continue riding the momentum, but rainouts Saturday and Sunday prevented that from happening.

"We really wanted to use all that energy we got from that walk-off homer," manager Manny Acta said. "It's too bad. It seems like ages ago since Travis hit that home run."

The layoff may not be ideal, but Sunday's postponement allowed Acta to send Josh Tomlin (4-1, 2.70 ERA) to the mound against the Royals, who he's faced twice this season.

Tomlin, among the league leaders with a .185 opponent batting average, did not get a decision Tuesday after allowing three runs in six innings of a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay. The right-hander has given up five home runs in his last three starts after yielding three in his first four.

Tomlin has been solid against Kansas City (20-19), beating the Royals 7-2 on April 27 after not getting a decision against them April 21. He's allowed three runs in 13 1-3 innings in those outings.

Tomlin will face a Kansas City lineup which has scored one total run in two straight losses. The Royals fell 3-1 on Friday and 3-0 on Saturday against Detroit before the series finale was rained out Sunday.

Royals manager Ned Yost planned to hit rookie Eric Hosmer fifth rather than his usual sixth as a change of pace. Hosmer went 0 for 8 over the weekend after going 4 for 9 with two home runs and four RBIs in the two games previous.

Yost maintains he's not protecting Hosmer in the lineup and the first baseman is a capable major-league hitter.

"I think if you're a big leaguer, you're a big leaguer, and I don't try to protect guys in the big leagues," Yost said. "I throw them right into the fire and let them go. They're big league players. They've earned their way here."

Yost may hope Hosmer and the rest of the Royals begin hitting soon, especially against the Indians. Kansas City has lost five of seven meetings against Cleveland this season, including a three-game sweep April 26-28.

The Royals will look to a struggling Kyle Davies (1-5, 7.08 ERA) to help beat their AL Central rival. Davies lost the most recent meeting between the teams, allowing eight runs -- including a career high-tying four homers -- in 3 1-3 innings April 28 in an 8-2 loss.

"I got my butt kicked tonight," Davies said following his performance. "I'm the reason we lost the game."

Davies, who was also slated to start Sunday, is 0-4 with a 6.97 ERA in last four starts, losing 3-1 to the New York Yankees on Tuesday after allowing three runs in five innings.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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