(Sports Network) - Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez returns from a five-game
suspension to make his second start of the season today when the Cleveland
Indians visit the Kansas City Royals in the finale of a three-game series at
Jimenez, a 19-game winner with Colorado in 2010, was 6-9 with them last season
before a trade deadline deal sent him to Cleveland.
He was 4-4 in 11 starts to end the 2011 schedule and made his initial
appearance of 2012 on April 7, getting a no-decision after allowing two runs
on a single hit and three walks in seven innings against Toronto.
The Indians lost the game, 7-4.
The 28-year-old Dominican was shelved for five games after intentionally
throwing at former Rockies teammate Troy Tulowitzki in his final start of
He appealed the suspension and made the season-opening start against the Blue
Jays, then dropped the appeal and served the five games - which ended with
Saturday's second game of the Royals series.
In that second game, Shin-Soo Choo belted the go-ahead two-run double in the
top of the 10th inning as the Indians survived blowing a seven-run lead and
snuck past the Royals, 11-9.
Choo was plunked in the thigh by a Jonathan Sanchez fastball in the third
inning, provoking a benches-clearing situation which resulted in multiple
ejections. He was booed heavily in his remaining at-bats by the home crowd,
but came through in the clutch by ripping a fastball into left field off of
Greg Holland (0-1).
Choo took exception to being thrown at and took a few steps toward the mound
while yelling at Sanchez before being restrained by home plate umpire Gary
Choo and Sanchez already have a history, as it was a Sanchez fastball that
broke Choo's left thumb on June 24 last season and caused him to miss nearly a
Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored, Jason Kipnis
crushed a two-run homer, Casey Kotchman added a solo shot, while Carlos
Santana and Jose Lopez had two RBI apiece for the Indians.
Jairo Asencio (1-1) picked up with win with a scoreless ninth inning and Chris
Perez pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th to earn his second save of the
Billy Butler and Moustakas drove in two runs each, while Yuniesky Betancourt
cracked a solo homer and Eric Hosmer, Alcides Escobar and Jarrod Dyson each
knocked in a run for the Royals, who have dropped four of their last five.
Kansas City counters Jimenez with Mexican right-hander Luis Mendoza, who
starts for the second time this season and just the 18th time in his career.
The 28-year-old, signed as an undrafted free agent by Boston in 2000, debuted
in the majors with the Texas Rangers in 2007 and was 4-8 with them over 32
appearances and three seasons before coming to the Royals in an April 2010
He appeared in six games and made two starts for the team in 2010-11, then
debuted for 2012 on April 9 in Oakland, where he allowed just one run on five
hits on 5 2/3 innings of a hard-luck 1-0 loss to the Athletics.
Mendoza, whose career earned run average is 7.05 in 104 2/3 big-league
innings, has never faced the Indians.
The Indians won 12 of 18 versus the Royals last season, taking six of nine at
On this the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier
Major League Baseball is commemorating this special occasion by having all
players and on-field personnel once again wear the Hall of Famer's No. 42, as
well as other pregame festivities.
The Sports Network