Tribe Survives Wild One in Kansas City; Indians 6, Royals 5
Evan Matsumoto | On 02, Jul 2013
The first-place Cleveland Indians continued their tear through the AL Central Tuesday night in Kansas City. Coming off a four game sweep of the last-place White Sox, the Tribe used loaded bases, double plays and solid relief pitching to take game one of this three-game series.
Mendoza worked the Royals into, and out of, some serious trouble early in Tuesday night’s game. His first pickle came in the opening inning. The Tribe plated two runs—highlighted by a pair of singles from Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher—after Mendoza walked Carlos Santana with the bases loaded and dropped Mark Reynolds with a pitch to the helmet.
The Kansas City starter had two outs on the board in the third before putting Swisher and Santana on—Cleveland has scored 168 runs with two down to lead all of baseball. Despite the two-out statistics, Reynolds grounded out to end the inning.
With the bases loaded again in the fourth, Asdrubal Cabrera pelted a single into right to score Jason Giambi and Lonnie Chisenhall. Cleveland’s lead swelled to 4-0. Ned Yost, Kansas City’s manager, had seen enough of Mendoza after the inning and pulled him for Luke Hochevar.
It was all for nothing, though, after Alex Gorden homered with one out and the bases full of Royals in the fifth. Kluber had given up nine long balls this season prior to Gordon’s fifth-inning grand slam that tied the game.
There are 28 teams who have hit more homeruns than the Royals this season. Coming into Tuesday’s matchup, Kansas City sat in the 29 slot with a meager 49 homers—two more than the last-place Miami Marlins.
Three walks loaded the bases for the Tribe in the seventh. Cabrera scored from third on a Santana sacrifice fly. Then Giambi smoked a double into right field that scored Kipnis.
Chris Perez came in to record his eighth save of the year in the bottom of the ninth. He tallied one strikeout and got two Royals to ground out.
Royal’s reliever Tim Collins walked Kipnis in the seventh to extend Kipnis’ on-base streak to 33 games. The last Cleveland player to reach base in more than 32 games was Victor Martinez, who went 45 straight that spanned from September 2005 to May 2006.
Cleveland remains half a game ahead of the second place Detroit Tigers. The last time the Indians were in first place in the AL Central was May 23.
Photo: Orlin Wagner/AP Photo