Indians Rout Royals, Turn Focus to Tigers
by Matt Van Wormer
Shelley Duncan made sure that the Indians did their part to stay within striking distance of the Detroit Tigers. Duncan hit two Home Runs, a three-run shot in the sixth inning and then a two-run insurance blast in the eighth and the Indians finished off their season series with the Royals with a much needed win, 9-6.
The Indians jumped on Royals starter Jeff Francis early in the game scoring a run on Jason Donald’s RBI single in the first inning with two outs. Fukudome scored on the hit and Carlos Santana was thrown out trying to score a second run which ended the inning.
In the second, Jack Hannahan led off with a double and a Lou Marson single moved him to third. Jerad Head followed with a double that scored Hannahan and moved Marson to third. After two outs were recorded, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run double down the line that gave the Indians a 4-0 lead.
After that, Francis settled in and didn’t give up another run. The Royals turned to Tim Collins in their bullpen in the sixth which is when Duncan put his first blast on the board. After Ezequial Carrera walked and stole second when Kosuke Fukudome struck out, Asdrubal Cabrera walked which ended Collins’ outing. Jesse Chavez then got Carlos Santana to hit into a Fielder’s Choice which was followed by Duncan’s dinger.
The Royals did make Tribe fans nervous in the bottom of the seventh as they loaded up the bases with one out. After Tony Sipp walked in one run to make the score 7-3, he got Mike Moustakas to fly out, ending the Royals threat.
Duncan did his thing again in the eighth after Carlos Santana walked with two outs, giving him five RBI in the game. On the day, the Indians did not go down in order in any inning. The hitters were a perfect combination of being patient and aggressive.
Jeanmar Gomez pitched very well for the second straight start going 5.1 innings and giving up just six hits and one run. His command was a little shaky as he walked three Royals hitters but he was able to work out of trouble and pick up the “W” for the Indians.
The Royals made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth, scoring three runs off of Frank Hermann, but weren’t able to pull out the victory as Chris Perez came in to earn his 32nd save of the year by getting the last two outs. The Indians finished their season series with the Royals with a record of 12-6.
After the game, Shelley Duncan talked about how there is no quit in the Indians’ clubhouse. “The pitching staff does a really good job of keeping us in games…whoever is out in the field keeps chugging along.” The Indians will look to keep chugging along against the Tigers tomorrow when they go head-to-head with Division Leading Detroit at 1:05 p.m.
Photo: Mark Duncan/Associated Press