Jimenez leads Tribe into middle test with Royals

9:02 AM, Sep 22, 2012   |    comments
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Dominican right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez tries again to reach double-digit victories tonight when the Cleveland Indians visit the Kansas City Royals for the second of three games at Kauffman Stadium.

Jimenez is a four-time winner of 10 or more games in a single campaign, including seasons of 12, 15 and 19 victories with the Colorado Rockies between 2008 and 2010.

He won 10 games while splitting last season between the Rockies and Indians.

Jimenez got to 9-11 this season with Cleveland after a 5-3 defeat of the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 9, but has since gone 0-5 in seven starts while the Indians have gone 1-6 in those outings.

The Indians have won just two of Jimenez's last 10 starts and are 12-18 in the 30 games he's pitched this season.

He's 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against the Royals.

For Kansas City, rookie left-hander Will Smith faces the Indians for the second time in his 15th big-league start.

The product of Florida Gulf Coast University beat Cleveland for his first victory in start No. 2 on May 29, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings.

He's won four of 12 starts since, including a 9-1 defeat of Minnesota on Sept. 11 in which he tossed seven scoreless innings while scattering seven hits and striking out seven batters.

He dropped a 4-3 verdict to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in his most recent outing to fall to 5-8 for 2012 and is 1-5 in six starts at home with a 6.23 ERA.

On Friday, Brayan Pena and Mike Moustakas each drove in a pair of runs to lead the Royals to a 6-3 win.

Irving Falu had two hits, scored once, and knocked in a run and Eric Hosmer had an RBI for the Royals, who have won three straight.

Luis Mendoza (8-9) allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out three over six-plus frames to earn the victory. Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth to nail down his 15th save of the season.

Carlos Santana drove in a pair of runs and Michael Brantley had an RBI for the Indians, who have lost 10 of their last 13.

Justin Masterson (11-15) was pegged with the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings.

"(Masterson) is a good pitcher. He's been doing it for a long time and he's got stuff," Moustakas said. "We're trying to chip away. Get a run here, a scratch run there. We did what we can."

The Royals won seven of the first 12 games between the teams in 2012, but were swept in a three-game set the last time they faced the Indians - in Kansas City from July 31-Aug. 2. Cleveland won last year's series, 12-6.


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