James Shields will start for the Royals. The right-hander has been as good as advertised, posting a 3.12 ERA over 129 2/3 innings. Cleveland hit Shields hard on July 4, tagging the starter for five runs on nine hits over 5 1/3 innings; Kansas City will need their ace to pitch better this afternoon.
Ned Yost is actually trotting out a lineup I can support; Alcides Escobar is out of the No. 2 spot, and Johnny Giavotella returns to the field. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star brings us the Royals batting order:
#Royals vs CLE RHP Jimenez: Gordon 7, Hosmer 3, Butler DH, Perez 2, Moustakas 5, Cain 8, Lough 9, Giavotella 4, Escobar 6 and Shields 1.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) July 14, 2013
I would probably switch David Lough with Mike Moustakas, but it's a very minor quibble.
Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound for the Indians. The right-hander has performed better this season than last, but has still not been the pitcher Cleveland hoped they were acquiring two seasons ago, as he owns a 4.37 ERA in 94 2/3 innings. Jimenez still strikes people out, but has seen has walks and home runs increase while his groundball percentage has decreased.
Drew Stubbs will play rightfield for the Indians today, pushing Nick Swisher to first base and Carlos Santana back behind the plate. Mike Aviles is also in the lineup at shortstop, with Asdrubal Cabrera serving as the designated hitter. Nick Camino of WTAM 1000 brings us Cleveland's starting nine:
#Indians lineup today: Bourn CF, Cabrera DH, Kipnis 2B, Swisher 1B, Brantley LF, Santana C, Aviles SS, Chisenhall 3B and Stubbs RF— Nick Camino (@CaminoTribe) July 14, 2013
The Royals designated J.C. Gutierrez for assignment today, per Dutton. I'm sure he will be dearly missed by all.
Song of the Day: Shinedown - Simple Man
"Simple Man" is a classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song, but I actually prefer listening to the Shinedown version. Brent Smith is a great vocalist, and he really shows his impressive range during this cover.