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Royals seek second straight win against Indians

Sun Jul 21 2:01am ET

The Cleveland Indians erupted for 43 runs during their season high-tying six-game winning streak before being limited to just three hits in their last outing.

The Indians aim to reignite their offense on Sunday when they play the rubber match of their three-game series against the visiting Kansas City Royals, who have won five of their last six contests.

Greg Allen ripped a double for one of the three hits by Cleveland, which struck out 13 times and failed to make a dent against Jakob Junis and three relievers in a 1-0 setback on Saturday.

"Sometimes you have games like that," Allen said. "The offense as whole, at least coming off this last homestand, overall, I think we played pretty well. We had good at-bats and competed.

"That's the game of baseball. It's funny, you can take what you would think is a matchup in your advantage or even a team matchup in your advantage and sometimes, you know, that's why you got to go out there and play all nine innings because you never know what could happen."

What did happen was the Indians fell for just the third time in their last 15 outings, courtesy of their eighth shutout loss of the season.

"They hit one (home run) to the opposite field, and both pitchers kinda made it hold up from there," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "I thought this was a hitter-friendly ballpark, and you'd never know by the score."

Hunter Dozier provided all of the offense with his 15th homer of the season in the first inning. The blast extended Dozier's hitting streak to eight games, during which he is 12-for-31 with two homers and eight RBIs.

"He powered it out," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "... You're hoping at that point, first inning, that you're going to score some runs -- you didn't know that that would eventually be the winner, but glad it was. The pitching made it hold up."

The Royals hope the same holds true in the series finale, with right-hander Glenn Sparkman (3-5, 4.54 ERA) getting the nod.

Sparkman recorded his first career shutout in his last trip to the mound. The 27-year-old scattered five hits and struck out a career-high eight batters in an 11-0 romp over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

Sparkman, however, was not as fortunate in his last meeting with Cleveland, surrendering five runs on seven hits -- including three homers -- in a no-decision on June 25.

Francisco Lindor is 3-for-6 with a pair of doubles against Sparkman, while Roberto Perez, Tyler Naquin and Mike Freeman have each homered versus the hurler.

Indians rookie right-hander Zach Plesac (3-3, 3.56 ERA) will take the mound after being limited to just three innings due to a two-hour rain delay versus Detroit on Tuesday.

Plesac, who did not allow a run or hit in the outing against the Tigers, permitted three and two, respectively, in 2 2/3 innings of a no-decision versus Kansas City on July 4. That contest marked his lone encounter with the Royals in his brief career.

--Field Level Media

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