Corey Kluber probably has some fond memories of the Royals.
After all, the Indians right-hander pitched the first complete game of his career the last time he faced Kansas City, holding its lineup to one unearned run on four hits on April 24. He exhibited stellar command in doing so, striking out 11 batters while walking none.
"He handcuffed us," Royals manager Ned Yost said after the game. "He threw a great game. We couldn't do anything with him, nothing all day long."
Since then, Kluber's resume has only gotten stronger. He posted a sparkling 2.09 ERA and six quality starts in May, striking out 60 batters in 43 innings, and has continually made the case that he is Cleveland's most dominant and reliable starter.
Kluber's last outing, a meeting with the Red Sox at Progressive Field, wasn't the best of starts -- his effort yielded four runs and lasted 6 1/3 innings. But, as Indians manager Terry Francona pointed out, that simply reflects on how dominant Kluber's other performances have been this year.
"If that's him not at his best, that's pretty good," Francona said.
Kluber -- notable for his incredibly even-keel demeanor regardless of how he pitches -- was not fazed by the start.
"I think if you start worrying about your record in May, you're kind of fighting an uphill battle," he said. "There's so much of the season left that, maybe if you kind of stay the course and continue to play good, you're capable of getting on a roll like we have this homestand, and things can turn out in your favor."
Opposite Kluber in Tuesday's opener, the Royals will turn to left-hander Jason Vargas after Monday night's series finale with the Yankees was postponed due to rain. The Royals had won two of the first three games of the series and have taken seven of their last 11 contests.
Vargas (5-2, 3.28 ERA) has turned in another fine season thus far. Already he has 10 quality starts under his belt, and he has not given up more than two runs in any of his last three outings.
He held the Tribe to three runs in six innings on April 23, fanning two and walking two.
Indians: Chisenhall goes yard three times
Lonnie Chisenhall could do absolutely no wrong against the Rangers on what was a historic Monday night for the young infielder.
In five at-bats, Chisenhall collected a career-high five hits, nine RBIs and three home runs. In doing so, he became the first player in franchise history with at least that many hits, home runs and RBIs in a single game and just the fourth player to do so in the past 100 years.
On the heels of the performance, Chisenhall raised his season slash line to .385/.429/.615. The 25-year-old left-handed hitter has recorded a hit in 18 of his last 21 games and owns a seven-game hitting streak entering Tuesday.
"He's been a big part of about everything we've done," Francona said before Monday's game. "He's played first. He's played third. He's DH'd. He's hitting lefties. He's been in the middle, it seems like, all our rallies. He's running the bases. He's been a big shot for us."
Royals: Joseph added to bullpen
Kansas City called up left-handed reliever Donnie Joseph from Triple-A Omaha ahead of Tuesday's tilt with the Indians.
Joseph owns a 3.91 ERA in 17 appearances with the Storm Chasers this season, fanning 28 batters in 23 innings pitched. The Royals optioned reliever Wilking Rodriguez to Omaha in order to make room for the southpaw.
"Lot of lefties in Cleveland," Yost said. "Helps us match up."
Entering Monday, the Indians have hit a collective .242 against lefties this season.
• The Royals and Indians have met 614 times in their history, with Cleveland (316-298) holding the overall series advantage.
• The Indians have accumulated 10 or more hits in each of their last six games. They are 21-6 this season when reaching a double-digit hit total.
• Royals reliever Wade Davis has not allowed a run in his last 15 appearances. He owns a 1.27 ERA this season, fanning 46 over 28 1/3 innings, and has yet to give up an extra-base hit.
Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.