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Game CLIX: Royals v. Indians

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The Royals need to avoid a sweep to stay out of the record books

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the All-Star Break, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the Royals would surpass the franchise record of 106 losses set back in 2005. They were on pace for 116-losses, after all. However, thanks in large part to Ryan O’Hearn, Brad Keller, and Adalberto Mondesi, they got hot in the second half and looked like a halfway decent team.

In fact, if they sweep the AL Central champion Cleveland Indians this weekend, they will have finished the second half with a 33-34 record. And even while they are just 29-34 thus far in the second half, they are actually outscoring their opponents over those 63 games. While that is nothing special, it is certainly not the team we saw in the second half.

That stretch of formidable play put these 2018 Royals in a position to avoid making franchise history, needing just one win this weekend to avoid tying the 2005 Royals with 106 losses.

They will look for that one win tonight, sending Glenn Sparkman to the mound to face Josh Tomlin. Sparkman, making his third career start, has struggled in his first two starts, giving up five runs over eight combined innings and failing to get an out in the 5th inning of either start.

Tomlin, who had been a staple in the Indians rotation on 2016 and 2017 teams, was relegated to the bullpen in 2018 after struggling mightily in his eight starts. He will be back on the mound tonight, making his third start in September after coming out of the bullpen in his 21 appearances from May 22 through September 8.

Here are your lineups for tonight’s action.