Two teams at opposite ends of the American League Central Division standings will meet Friday night at Kauffman Stadium in the first contest of a three-game series.The first place Cleveland Indians (73-54) will face the fifth-place Kansas City Royals (38-90) http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-yuli-gurriel-jersey , who are 35 1/2 games behind division leading Cleveland.For the Indians, this will be the final three games on a seven-game two-city road trip to Boston and Kansas City. The Indians split a four-game series with the Red Sox, who have the best record in the majors. Now comes a three-game series with the Royals, who have the second-worst record in the league.Article continues below ...The Indians won the first two games in Boston, and lost the last two, including a 7-0 blanking by the Red Sox on Thursday. The only good to come out of Thursday’s game for the Indians was the return of right-hander Josh Tomlin, who was activated off the disabled list prior to the game and pitched the last three innings of Thursday’s blowout.That was the silver lining to the loss, according to manager Terry Francona.“Josh got into a good rhythm and gave us three innings, so now we go into Kansas City with our bullpen back to where it should be http://www.astrosfanproshop.com/authentic-jake-marisnick-jersey ,” Francona said. “(Friday’s game) will be every bit as important to us as (Thursday’s game).”Friday’s pitching matchup will be Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger (9-7, 3.25 ERA) versus Kansas City right-hander Brad Keller (6-5, 3.32).Clevinger is coming off an 8-0 victory over Baltimore in his last start Sunday. In that game, Clevinger pitched six scoreless innings on seven hits, with seven strikeouts and one walk. He was removed from the game because his pitch count was at 104.Clevinger has rebounded nicely from a midseason slump. After going 1-4 with a 4.85 ERA in five July starts, Clevinger is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four August outings.In two starts against the Royals this year, Clevinger is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. His last appearance against Kansas City was a 6-2 win on May 12, when he pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and eight hits Michael Saunders Jersey , with five strikeouts and no walks. In seven career appearances against the Royals, Clevinger is 4-0 with a 2.17 ERA.Keller has split the 2018 season between the starting rotation and the bullpen. In 14 starts, he is 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA. In 21 relief appearances, he is 1-1, 2.01.Keller’s last start was a 5-4 win over the White Sox on Saturday, when he pitched five innings, allowing one run and five hits, with five strikeouts and no walks. In his last six starts, Keller is 4-2 with a 3.65 ERA.Friday will be Keller’s first career start against Cleveland. He has made two relief appearances against the Indians this season http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-ryan-goins-jersey , going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 4 1/3 innings.The Indians will be without reliever Neil Ramirez, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday with lower back spasms.Despite losing their last two games in Boston, the streaking Indians come to Kansas City having won nine of their last 12 games. Cleveland is 15-6 in the month of August.The Royals have lost five games in a row and are 5-17 in August. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty ImagesMilwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich called Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado a "dirty player" following L.A.'s 2-1 win over Milwaukee in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday.As seen in the following video courtesy of Stephen Watson of WISN 12 News, Yelich commented on a questionable play made by Machado in the 10th inning:Stephen Watson WISN_Watsonquot;Its a dirty play by a dirty player. I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but you cant respect someone who plays the game like that.quot; Christian Yelich on Manny Machado TocySpu8fKMachado appeared to kick Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar's right foot with his left foot on a groundout, leading the benches to clear.According to ESPN.com's Arash Markazi, Machado didn't seem bothered by Yelich's comments after the game at Dodger Stadium:"I play baseball. I try to go out there and win for my team. If that's their comments, that's their comments; I can't do nothing about that. ... I was trying to get over him and hit his foot. If that's dirty, that's dirty. I don't know Wily Peralta Jersey , call it what you want."Machado enjoyed a career year split between the Baltimore Orioles and Dodgers during the regular season, as he hit .297 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI.Meanwhile, Yelich is perhaps the front-runner for the NL MVP award, as he hit .326 with 36 homers and 110 RBI.Machado got the last laugh Tuesday, though, as he scored the winning run on Cody Bellinger's walk-off single in the 13th inning.The series is tied 2-2, and Game 5 will be contested Wednesday in Los Angeles.