The Cleveland Indians must begin another winning streak Saturday, one day after their American League-record run came to a close, as they host the Kansas City Royals in the third of a four-game set. The Indians saw their 22-game streak end Friday night with a 4-3 setback, losing for the first time since Aug. 23 and falling four short of the major-league mark set by the 1916 New York Giants.
Cleveland has already secured a playoff spot and its magic number to clinch the AL Central is two, but there is still plenty of work to be done as it holds a 1 1/2-game lead over Houston for the best record in the AL. Francisco Lindor will try to extend his hitting streak to 10 games for the Indians, who send Carlos Carrasco to the mound against Kansas City right-hander Jason Hammel. The Royals won for just the second time in five contests Friday to pull within four games of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the AL, but All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is day-to-day with an intercostal injury. Former Indian Brandon Moss is 9-for-21 during a six-game hitting streak for the Royals, while teammate Alcides Escobar is 7-for-15 over the last four contests.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Jason Hammel (8-11, 4.91 ERA) vs. Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (15-6, 3.41)
Hammel gave up five runs and 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings to lose Monday versus the Chicago White Sox after winning three of his previous four outings. The 35-year-old pitched 5 1/3 perfect innings in his last meeting with the Indians before allowing four runs and six hits in the next 1 1/3 frames to take his first loss against them in 2017. Edwin Encarnacion is 9-for-30 with five homers against Hammel, who is 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA versus Cleveland this year.
Carrasco, who is 5-1 in his last seven starts with 59 strikeouts and five walks, has permitted one or zero runs in six of those outings. The 30-year-old Venezuelan limited Detroit to seven hits over six scoreless innings Monday and spun seven scoreless frames in a victory over Kansas City on Aug. 27. Melky Cabrera is 11-for-36 with a pair of homers versus Carrasco, who is 8-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 21 career meetings with the Royals (16 starts).
1. Kansas City 1B Eric Hosmer is 21-for-57 with seven RBIs against the Indians this year, although the Royals have dropped 10 of 17 in the season series.
2. Cleveland 2B/3B Jose Ramirez is 9-for-16 with a pair of homers and five RBIs over his last five contests.
3. The Royals have the least errors in the AL with 68 and the Indians are just behind them with 69 after committing one Friday.
PREDICTION: Indians 6, Royals 1