Double Play Ball and Three Run Sixth Evens Series for KC; Royals 6, Indians 3
Matt Travis | On 10, Sep 2013
Tuesday night was the perfect example of how just getting hits is not nearly enough to win. Despite the fact the Indians were able to get 12 hits and out-hit the Royals, the Indians were only to score three runs and lose 6-3. Despite a great first five innings from Zach McAllister and lots of hits from the Indians, double plays and the middle inning pitching cost the Indians a great chance to make ground in the wild card chase.
The Indians started the game off exactly the way they hoped, getting a one-two-three top of the first inning then scoring in the bottom half. After Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher went down to start the inning, Jason Kipnis was able to start a rally with a two out single. Carlos Santana was able to move Kipnis to second with a single with Michael Brantley driving in Kipnis from second with the Tribe’s third straight single and make it 1-0.
The top of the third inning was scary for McAllister and the Tribe but he was able to stay focused and get out of the inning with the Indians still on top. McAllister walked Jarrod Dyson with one out to give the Royals their first base runner of the inning. After Alex Gordon flied out, McAllister balked and moved the runner to second then walked Emilio Bonifacio. With runners at first and second base, McAllister got Eric Hosmer to ground out to end the inning.
The Indians were able to get lead off singles in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings yet got no runs. The Indians killed the rally in the third inning by striking out then getting a single to put men on first and second base with one out, but hit into a double play. The fourth inning rally ended with another double play then a ground out to end the inning.
The Royals were finally able to break through and put a run on the board in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Alcides Escobar drove a pitch to deep left field for a solo home run to tie the game at one.
The sixth inning was when the wheels really fell off for McAllister. After having Eric Hosmer down 0-2 to lead off the inning, McAllister ended up walking him. The next batter was Billy Butler who doubled, putting men at second and third base with no one out. Mike Moustakas unfortunately was able to drive McAllister’s pitch to deep right field to drive in both runs and give the Royals a 3-1 lead. Kansas City however wasn’t done as Salvador Perez hit a single to drive in Moustakas and extend the lead to 4-1. Nick Hagadone came in in relief and was able to get the next three Royals batters in order to close out the inning.
The bottom of the sixth inning saw more of the same for the Indians, getting a hit with only one out, off the bat of Brantley, Cabrera hit into another double play.
The Royals tacked on an extra run in the top of the seventh inning, thanks to a couple infield singles. Alex Gordon led off the inning with a bouncer hit towards first base that Swisher was able to grab but bobbled and was unable to throw to first base in time. Bonifacio moved Gordon to second on a ground out, followed by Hosmer reaching on a ball hit right in-between the pitcher and first base that stayed in the infield and neither could get in time for the out. At that point Hagadone’s day was over and C.C. Lee came in to pitch. Butler was able to drive in Gordon during the next at bat with a deep sacrifice fly, extending the lead to 5-1. Lee got Moustakas to line out to end the inning.
The Indians were able to start a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning but could have had more. Yan Gomes started the inning with leadoff single, followed up by Jason Kubel striking out. Chisenhall was up next and hit a single to center field, his third hit of the day, moving Gomes to third base. Bourn was up next and hit a huge double to left field that just barely snuck past the glove of the outfielder, driving in both runners, making it a 5-3 game and putting Bourn at second base with only one out. Luke Hochevar came in to face the next two batters, Swisher and Kipnis, and got both of them to strike out, with Swisher going down on what looked to be an obvious ball.
Lee started the top of the eighth inning with an easy ground out to third base but then surrendered a triple to David Lough. Escobar was next up and added an extra insurance run with a single to left field, giving the Royals a 6-3 lead. Marc Rzepczynski came in for Lee at that point and was able to get the last two outs of the inning.
Hochevar dominated the Indians in the eighth inning as well, getting Santana, Brantley and Cabrera to all strike out.
Rzepczynski pitched the first two outs of ninth inning, getting both batters to strike out. Blake Wood came in for Rzepczynski and gave up a single Butler. Chris Getz came in to pinch run and was able to steal second and third on Wood before he walked Mike Moustakas. Wood kept the Royals from scoring by striking out Perez.
The win for tonight goes to Jeremy Guthrie (14-10, 4.11 ERA), the loss goes to Zach McAllister (7-9, 4.11 ERA) and the save goes to Greg Holland (41 SV, 1.37 ERA).
The Indians will attempt to win this series with the Royals tomorrow at 12:05 ET at Progressive Field. The Indians will have Scott Kazmir (8-7, 4.17 ERA) on the mound while the Royals will counter with James Shields (10-9, 3.43 ERA).
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images