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Indians Vs. Royals Game Preview: Luis Mendoza Returns as Kansas City Hosts Cleveland

The Kansas City Royals open a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians Friday.

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 2: Luis Mendoza #39 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 2: Luis Mendoza #39 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the game at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals open the first of two season-ending series against the Cleveland Indians Friday. Kansas City comes into Friday's game on the heels of a series win over the first-place Chicago White Sox, capped with a walk-off win Thursday night.

Kansas City will hand the ball to Luis Mendoza, who missed his start Wednesday with strep throat. Mendoza was brilliant in his last start, holding the Minnesota Twins to 1 run and 2 hits over 6 innings while striking out 6. Mendoza has made three appearances against Cleveland this season. In his last start against the Tribe on August 1, he pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up just 2 earned runs on 4 hits.

Cleveland sends veteran righty Justin Masterson to the mound Friday. Masterson has had a disappointing season, going 11-14 with a 4.93 ERA. In his one start against Kansas City in 2012, the Royals roughed him up, scoring 8 runs in 6 innings on May 29.

First pitch is set for 7:10 CT. As always, television coverage is available on Fox Sports Kansas City, and radio coverage is on KCSP 610 AM.