Jake Odorizzi will make his second Major League start in the middle game of the series with the Indians on Saturday. His debut came last Sunday, against the same Cleveland team, at Kauffman Stadium.
Odorizzi was dazzling the first two trips through the lineup, holding the Indians to just a pair of singles and a walk. But the third time through was a different story. The right-hander lasted just 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits in the Royals' 15-4 loss.
So is a rematch an advantage for Odorizzi or for the Cleveland bats?
"It could go both ways really," Odorizzi said. "I did real well to start off last time and they got me in the last inning, so it's kind of an in-between kind of thing. So we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, I'll be able to get the W."
The Indians, despite finally figuring Odorizzi out, were impressed by the youngster.
"It's always an adjustment period the first time you face a guy with not a lot of video or report time. So we really didn't know what we were kind of getting into," third baseman Jack Hannahan said. "He's got a sneaky fastball, and he's got a pretty good changeup that kind of fades away, big slow curveball. He's a guy that's going to have to pitch ahead and get ahead of guys and kind of go from there. He's a good pitcher."
Odorizzi brought a lot of hype with him to the Majors. He was recently ranked as Kansas City's third-best prospect overall by MLB.com. In 19 appearances this season for Triple-A Omaha, Odorizzi went 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA, striking out 88 batters in 107 1/3 innings.
He also started for the U.S. team in this year's All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City during All-Star Week.
Royals: Butler climbing RBI ranks
A two-run home run on Friday upped designated hitter Billy Butler's RBI total to 106 for the season. He's now tied with John Mayberry and Joe Randa for 13th on the Royals' all-time single-season list. Five more would crack the Top 10.
Outfielder Alex Gordon banged out a pair of doubles Wednesday night against the Tigers to reach 51 on the year, tying him with Butler for the second-most in a season for KC. Three more and Gordon would tie Hal McRae, who hit a franchise record 54 doubles in 1977.
Indians: Gomez into the rotation
The Indians will send Jeanmar Gomez to the hill on Saturday. The right-hander slides into the rotation spot vacated by Ubaldo Jimenez, who will miss the remainder of the season with a right ankle sprain. Sixteen of Gomez's 19 appearances this season have been starts. He's 5-8 with a 5.54 ERA.
Gomez has twice started against the Royals this season, most notably on April 14 at Kauffman Stadium. In that game, Gomez was ejected in the third inning for hitting Mike Moustakas with a pitch and causing the second benches-clearing incident of the day.
Sandy Alomar Jr. made a successful managerial debut in Friday night's series opener, as the Tribe rolled to an 8-5 victory.
Butler is hitting .308 in his career against Gomez, with a double and three walks.
Carlos Santana -- who hit a two-run homer off Odorizzi in the sixth inning last Sunday -- is batting .308 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 24 RBIs against the Royals in his career.