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Friday Night Thread: Royals at Indians

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Kansas City has one more shot to gain some ground in the division.

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals, fresh off a disappointing loss in an overall successful series, hit the road to take on the first-place Cleveland Indians. At five games back of the division lead, this would be a great opportunity for the Royals to gain ground in the AL Central, and it's likely now-or-never for their division title chances.

They'll kick off the series by sending their best pitcher in 2017 to the hill in Jason Vargas. He's in search of his 15th win, which would be a career high. A Royals pitcher hasn't won 15 games in a season since Jeremy Guthrie in 2013, which is actually kind of amazing considering all of the team's recent success. Vargas will be opposed by southpaw Ryan Merritt, who is making just the fourth start of his big-league career.