Part of that young core is pitcher Zach McAllister, who figures to be part of the team's long-term plans. McAllister has been one of the Indians' only consistent producers over the last month. He will try to keep Cleveland within striking distance in the American League Central when he takes the mound Wednesday night against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Indians have dropped four games in a row.
In a starting rotation that continues to be inconsistent, McAllister has effectively become the team's ace since he was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on June 28. The 24-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in six starts since then, and he has allowed no more than three earned runs in any of those outings.
McAllister allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings in his last start against the Tigers. He threw a season-high 117 pitches in the game, and his effort helped the Indians earn a big win against Detroit.
"McAllister was great again," Indians manager Manny Acta said afterward. "Every five days he just continues to give us an opportunity to win. Today, going toe to toe with [Justin] Verlander and keeping them to just three runs there, that was pretty good."
McAllister has struck out five or more batters in all six of his starts since being recalled (37 strikeouts total). He is 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA overall this season.
The Royals will counter with right-hander Luis Mendoza, who has had an up-and-down season. After lasting at least six innings in four consecutive starts, Mendoza went only five-plus frames in his last outing against Seattle. He allowed four runs on nine hits and took the loss.
"He was kind of all over the place," Royals manager Ned Yost said afterward. "He really struggled to command the ball down, got pitches up. But the thing about Mendoza is he competes. It was a grind for him out there today."
Mendoza had three walks and only one strikeout in the game. He hasn't thrown more than 100 pitches in any of his last three starts. Mendoza is 4-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 13 starts (18 appearances) this season.
Indians: Hernandez struggles in Minor League start
Pitcher Roberto Hernandez, formerly Fausto Carmona, struggled in his second rehab start on Tuesday. Hernandez allowed five runs on nine hits over five innings for Triple-A Columbus. Acta indicated Hernandez will make his next start at Class A Lake County.
The performance has nothing to do with it," Acta said. "We're not judging him on going over there and having to throw a no-hitter or a two-hitter every time he goes out. All we want to see is the type of shape he is in, how the ball is coming out of his hand, the stuff. That's all. He's just going down there to finish the rehab and be able to come over here."
Hernandez is serving a three-week suspension issued by Major League Baseball for using a false name. He is eligible to return to the Indians on Aug. 11.
The Indians acquired first baseman prospect Lars Anderson from the Red Sox on Tuesday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Steven Wright. Anderson, who hit .259 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in 93 games for Triple-A Pawtucket, was sent to Columbus.
Royals: Broxton dealt to Reds
The Royals traded closer Jonathan Broxton to the Reds for two Minor League pitchers prior to Tuesday's Deadline. Kansas City received left-handed reliever Donnie Joseph and right-handed starter J.S. Sulbaran in the deal. Broxton could opt for free agency at the end of the season.
Broxton had 23 saves in 27 opportunities for the Royals this season, posting a 2.27 ERA in 35 appearances. Yost said right-hander Greg Holland will assume the closer role.
"He was pretty obvious for me right now," Yost said. "He's been pretty consistent, and we feel that his stuff is all the way back to where it was last year when he was really successful."
Third baseman Mike Moustakas returned to the lineup Tuesday after spraining his knee on Saturday. Moustakas went 0-for-4.
Mendoza is 1-1 with a 6.39 ERA in two career starts (three appearances) against the Indians.
Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon hit his American League-leading 35th and 36th doubles on Tuesday night. Gordon went 3-for-4 with an RBI.
The Indians have scored more than three runs only twice in their last 12 games, going 3-9 during that span.