Following Sunday's first-half finale, both the Indians and Royals will enter the All-Star break poised to make a run at the American League Central crown -- after a few days of rest, of course.
"The hope is that you come back crisp, because that's always in your mind, to come back a little groggy," Cleveland skipper Terry Francona said. "You see it happen a lot of times with teams. But you hope that the rest helps you and guys recharge, because there are no more breaks after that."
The Indians have claimed the first two meetings of this series with the Royals to close to within 1 1/2 games of division-leading Detroit. The Royals, who have dropped four straight contests, sit seven games back of the Tigers.
"What we've done in the first half makes the second half potentially really exciting," Francona said. "We've played well enough where, let's go play. That's exciting. We need to play better in the second half, but we can."
Cleveland and Kansas City will reconvene at Progressive Field on Sunday, when the Indians will attempt to capture a three-game sweep of their division foe. They'll do so behind right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (7-4, 4.37 ERA), who is 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA over his last nine outings. He has not, however, pitched into the seventh inning since June 1.
"I've been able to go out there and compete with whatever I have every five days," Jimenez said. "I wish I could be able to go more innings. ... That hasn't been the case. But I've been able to compete."
James Shields (4-6, 3.12 ERA) will take the hill for the Royals. Kansas City has won each of Shields' last eight outings, while the right-hander is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA over that span.
Royals manager Ned Yost originally planned to commence the second half of the schedule with Shields, who would be pitching on normal rest on Friday. He isn't so sure about that plan now.
"I've revised that. I'm still thinking through it," Yost said. "I'm still reviewing it, trying to make sure that we don't leave too many guys with eight, nine or 10 days [between starts], so we're trying to balance it out."
Royals: Teaford recalled
Kansas City recalled southpaw Everett Teaford from Triple-A Omaha on Saturday. Reliever Donnie Joseph was optioned back to the Storm Chasers. Joseph appeared in two games -- his first big league action -- with the Royals.
"He did fine," Yost said. "We just wanted some protection against a predominately left-handed lineup and he did a nice job."
Teaford compiled a 3-2 record and 2.88 ERA in 23 outings (nine starts) for Omaha.
Indians: Post-break rotation still in flux
Francona said on Saturday that the club's starting rotation order for after the All-Star break has yet to be determined. Originally, the team had intended on Justin Masterson starting the team's first game on Friday. However, with Masterson headed to Citi Field for the Midsummer Classic, Francona doesn't want his pitchers' schedules all depending on whether the right-hander toes the rubber during Tuesday's All-Star Game.
"We want him to be able to enjoy his experience there, be able to pitch, not have to worry about coming out of it three days later," Francona said.
• Shortstop Francisco Lindor, the organization's No. 1 prospect, according to MLB.com, was promoted to Double-A Akron on Friday night. The club's first-round Draft pick in 2011, Lindor batted .306 with 20 stolen bases in 83 games at Class A Carolina. He is slated to play in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday.
• The Indians are 40-24 against non-AL East opponents this season.
• Shields is 1-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 11 career starts against Cleveland.