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KC@TB: Mendoza allows two runs through six vs. Rays

Perhaps it's only fitting that the Royals and Indians will play a rubber game to decide their series on Wednesday night.

Cleveland entered the three-game set with a half-game lead over Kansas City for second place in the American League Central and a .500 record. After the Royals' 2-1 win in the opener on Monday night, they took over second place with a half-game lead and a .500 record. On Tuesday night, however, the two teams swapped roles again when the Indians rallied for a 4-3 victory.

The Royals' offense isn't producing a lot of runs right now, but the pitching staff is getting the job done -- holding opponents to three runs or fewer in all but two games this month.

Right-hander Luis Mendoza, Wednesday's starter, has started three of those games and will be opposed by Indians righty Justin Masterson.

For the season, Mendoza is 2-3 in 11 starts with a 4.08 ERA, while holding opponents to a .271 average.

"He's been throwing the ball really well, just like all of our starters have," manager Ned Yost said. "He's been very consistent and he's been a part of all this three-runs-and-under stuff, too."

Mendoza started the season as the fifth starter in the rotation, but since beginning to pitch on regular rest on May 13, he's 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven starts.

Masterson is 8-5 with a 3.52 ERA, but he's even stronger at home with a 5-1 record and a 2.22 ERA in eight games at Progressive Field. He's thrown two shutouts and has 61 strikeouts against just 19 walks in 56 1/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .201 against Masterson at home.

In his last start, Masterson held the Washington Nationals to one run on two hits. For the fourth time in his career, he notched double-digit strikeouts with 10. He also walked four batters while throwing 113 pitches, 71 for strikes.

Royals: Moustakas has success against Indians
It's no secret that Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has been struggling at the plate -- batting .189 with just 38 hits in 59 games -- but on Tuesday night he logged two hits.

Moustakas, whose last multi-hit game was on June 2 against the Rangers, snapped a string of 12 games with one hit or fewer.

Indians: Chisenhall recalled from Triple-A
Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall started against the Royals on Tuesday in his first game back since being recalled from Triple-A. He went 0-for-3.

It was his first game with Cleveland since May 12. Before his stint at Triple-A Columbus, Chisenhall was batting .213 through 26 games. He flourished in the Minors, hitting .390 with eight doubles, two triples and six homers in 27 games. He also compiled a .456 on base percentage and .676 slugging percentage.

Worth noting
• Vinnie Pestano earned a save on Tuesday for the Indians, who now have an equal amount of saves and blown saves with 11 each.

• Kelvin Herrera took the loss for the Royals on Tuesday. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up three earned runs in the decisive eighth. They were his first earned runs since May 22. Comments