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1:15 PM PT2:15 PM MT3:15 PM CT4:15 PM ET16:15 ET20:15 GMT4:15 1:15 PM MST3:15 PM EST3:45 PM VEN0:15 UAE (+1)3:15 PM CT, May 6, 2017
Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri  Attendance: 23,743

Indians look to keep Royals' bats quiet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona likes the expression of letting a sleeping dog lie when it comes to the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals slumbered -- mostly their offense -- throughout April, losing their last nine games of the month.

With the Indians playing the Royals Saturday in the second game of a three-game weekend series, Francona would like to keep those bats snoozing.

"I don't think we want to get them hot, that's for (darn) sure," Francona said. "When you have guys with track records, you don't want them to get (hot) against you. Those guys, when they get hot, they get dangerous.

"But I'm not sure how a pitcher can go into a game thinking, 'I can't give this guy a hit.' You play the game, whether they are hot or not. You try to do your homework on guys, but we just need to show up and try to win today. That's what we always do."

The Royals banged out 10 hits, three of them by Eric Hosmer, in a 3-1 victory over the Indians Friday in the series opener. Hosmer's two-run homer in the fifth was the decisive blow.

While Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar had a fastball reaching the upper-90 mile per hour, he threw 98 pitches in 4 2/3 innings before being pulled.

"We did a nice job of running his pitch count up," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Now the Royals will try to run right-hander Josh Tomlin's pitch count up.

Tomlin is not a stranger to the Royals. He will be starting against them for the 18th time and his 22nd career appearance. He is 9-4 with a 4.33 ERA against Kansas City.

Tomlin last faced them on October 2, his final 2016 regular season start, that secured the home-field advantage for the Indians in the postseason. He limited the Royals to six hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Tomlin, who is 2-3 with an 8.87 ERA, is working with five days' rest after the Thursday rainout in Detroit. Tomlin last pitched Sunday in a 12-4 win over the Seattle Mariners when he allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.

This will be his third road start. He is 1-1 with a 7.59 ERA in his first two away starts.

"His first couple of starts weren't very good," Francona said. "He's thrown two good games now. The other night in Seattle, the wind was galing out, and he pitched really well. He pitched five really good innings, but before he could get out of there, he gave up a couple of runs. And then we gave up a couple more of his. That didn't help his ERA. He's fine. He's a guy who pitches to the scoreboard."

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez loves to face Tomlin. He is 16-for-29, .552, with a home run and six RBIs off him.

Mike Moustakas is 7-for-17, .412 with two home runs and six RBIs.

Hosmer has a nine-game hitting streak, but has just a .161 batting average in 31 at-bats against Tomlin, but two of his five hits cleared the fences.

The Royals will counter with left-hander Jason Vargas, who is 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his past nine starts at Kauffman Stadium. That includes going 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA, the lowest in the American League, at home this season.

Vargas snapped the Royals' nine-game losing streak Monday with a quality start, beating the Chicago White Sox. He permitted one run on five hits over six innings.

Updated May 6, 2017

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