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Indians Try To Win Second Straight Tonight; Kansas City In Town For Three-Game Set

(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals will pay a visit to the American League Central-rival Cleveland Indians tonight for the first of three straight games at Progressive Field.

The Royals have won five of eight meetings with the Tribe this season and swept a two-game set in Cleveland back in late May.

Kansas City salvaged the finale of a three-game series in Detroit with Wednesday's 4-3 triumph in extra innings, as Willie Bloomquist belted a solo home run in the top of the 12th and All-Star closer Joakim Soria closed the door in the bottom half to pick up his 36th save.

"I don't hit too many, but I assumed I got all of it," Bloomquist said of his home run. It was as far I could probably hit one."

Philip Humber threw three scoreless innings of relief for the win. Kila Ka'aihue added a solo homer, drove in two runs and scored twice for the Royals, who avoided being swept in Detroit for the first time since 2002.

Taking the ball for Kansas City on Friday will be Bryan Bullington, who is 1-2 with a 4.50 earned run average in eight games (three starts) this season. He last pitched on Saturday in a 7-6 loss to the White Sox, but did not record a decision after giving up six runs and 11 hits in five innings.

The right-hander faced Cleveland for the first time on May 19 of this season and recorded two outs in relief in an 8-4 Royals' victory.

Cleveland will continue a lengthy homestand tonight and just lost two of three meetings with Oakland. It was able to avoid the sweep and ended a five-game slide by recording a 3-2 victory on Thursday, as Matt LaPorta put the Tribe ahead for good with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Michael Brantley drove in a run and starter Justin Masterson held on for the win with six innings of two-run ball. Chris Perez later notched his 16th save of the season with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.

"My release point -- I was more consistent with that," Masterson said. "Really, I just tried to go after them. The ball actually went where it was supposed to go most of the time."

The Indians, who will also host the White Sox on this residency, are slated to send rookie Josh Tomlin to the mound this evening. Tomlin has lost three straight starts and is only 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA in five starts this season.

Tomlin was beaten by the Tigers in Detroit last Saturday and gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings of his team's 5-2 loss. The right-hander has never faced Kansas City in his career.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.