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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | December 17, 2017

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Royals Wash Away Chances; Royals 5, Indians 1

By Mike Brandyberry

Bull Durham said, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains.” In a strange season for the Indians, they found a way to do two out of three Saturday evening, losing to the Kansas City Royals, 5-1.

At one point, it looked as if an Indian victory would help the team move to only 4.5 games back with a game to play before a huge three game series with Detroit, but the rain may have helped the Tigers comeback in their game for a victory and helped slow the Indians down.

Ezequiel Carrera started the Indian offense immediately by singling to right field to start the game. After advancing to third on Luke Hochever’s wild pickoff throw, he was able to score on Carlos Santana’s sacrifice fly.

Kansas City would answer back in the first inning however, Melky Cabrera and Eric Hosmer each singled and Jeff Francoeur hit a ball to right field that was misplayed by Kosuke Fukudome and ruled a doubled. Both base runners scored and the Royals had a 2-1 lead.

Then, the rains came, delaying the game 16 minutes, but any momentum the Indians had was lost. Meanwhile, a rain delay in Detroit was ending the Tigers took momentum to finish a come from behind victory over the Chicago White Sox, 9-8.

With one out, Jason Donald committed an error on Salavador Perez’s groundball. Chris Getz singled, moving Perez to third and he scored on Alex Gordon’s fielder’s choice, giving the Royals a 3-1 lead. The Royals tacked on runs in the fifth and sixth innings, when Billy Butler doubled home Gordon and Johnny Giavotella hit only his second home run of the season.

At 6 pm ET, it looked as if the Indians had a great chance to cut the lead to 4.5 games, but instead, they find themselves 6.5 out by midnight and certainly on the cusp of being out of the race. It was another night of subpar offense, with only three hits by Cleveland. In what again feels like a must-win game the Indians will send Jeanmar Gomez to the mound against Jeff Francis, a crafty lefty, who is the type of pitcher to give the Tribe fits.

Also, it is safe to assume, with a day game after a night game, Jim Thome will not start against the lefty, especially with the pending series with Detroit upcoming. The depleted Indians will again have to try to keep their season alive with a less than best lineup available.

 

Photo: Tim Umphrey/Getty Images