Indians Survive KC Rally; Indians 5, Royals 4
By Mike Brandyberry
In a tale of two games in one, the Indians won the first half of the contest and were able to survive to hang on and win the game, 5-4. Like so many victories this summer, the win may come with a cost as Asdrubal Cabrera had to leave the game early with a right foot contusion.
Kosuke Fukudome stayed hot by earning the first of his three hits in the first inning. Carlos Santana followed with a double, scoring him. Santana would scamper home with Jim Thome’s base hit and the Indians had a quick 2-0 lead.
In the third, Fukudome would again single before Cabrera hit his 22nd home run of the season into the Royals bullpen, making the lead 4-0. However, Cabrera fouled a ball off his ankle during the at bat and would have to be removed from the game in the next half inning.
Jason Donald moved from second to shortstop and assumed the power hitting role when he hit a solo-home run in the fourth inning giving the Indians a 5-0 lead. With Justin Masterson cruising along, it seemed more than enough for the Tribe.
The Royals, who really have been the Indians nemesis all season long, would battle back. Alcides Escobar singled to left to score Salvador Perez in the fifth. After Ezequiel Carrera misplayed a ball in center field, Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to score Melky Cabrera. But the game really became close when Alex Gordon hit a two run home run in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the lead to 5-4.
Masterson’s evening would be complete, pitching seven innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. Vinnie Pestano worked a dominating eighth inning, striking out two and Chris Perez worked a clean, three-up, three-down ninth inning. Perez recorded his 31st save of the season, Masterson improved his record to 11-8 on the season.
With the victory the Indians were able to keep pace with the Detroit Tigers and remain only 5.5 games behind first place. Meanwhile, the Indians were able to take advantage of Bruce Chen for the first time all season. He has dominated the Indians in previous starts this season.
Tomorrow looks to be a day like so many others for the Tribe this season, waiting on an injury report, hoping for the best and fearing the worst, all while preparing for another battle to stay afloat in the divisional race. David Huff will match up with Luke Hochevar, Saturday evening at 7:05 ET.
Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images