Tomlin Terrific But Tribe Offense Absent; Royals 2, Indians 0
Bob Toth | On 16, Sep 2015
When every game matters, a pitching performance like the one the Cleveland Indians got from Josh Tomlin on Tuesday night is one a team in a playoff hunt cannot afford to waste. But the Indians offense could not figure out Kris Medlen and the Royals bullpen, who came away with a 2-0 win.
The Royals only needed one run, which they got in the second via the “extra out”. With two outs, Mike Moustakas popped up behind the plate. Catcher Yan Gomes was unable to find the ball in the night sky and it dropped in foul territory untouched. Moustakas cashed in on the extra opportunity with a double that Abraham Almonte missed at the wall in center field and “Moose” would score on a bloop single to center from catcher Salvador Perez.
Outfielder Alex Rios yanked a homer to the Home Run Porch off of Tomlin in the fifth, one of a number of solo homers given up by Tomlin this year. In a bizarre scene, Rios got to round the bases to fireworks on a miscue by a fireworks tech at Progressive Field.
Tomlin pitched a complete game effort, allowing two runs on just four hits over 110 pitches. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
The Indians had a chance to tie or even win the game off of Royals closer Greg Holland in the ninth. Lonnie Chisenhall walked and Gomes lined a rope off of the shortstop to put two on with nobody out. Manager Terry Francona went to his bench to bring Mike Aviles on to pinch-hit for Jerry Sands. Attempting to bunt, Aviles popped it up and Holland got a glove on it but dropped it. He was able to recover and throw to third for a force out and the Indians narrowly avoided a double play throw to second only due to no Kansas City player at the bag to cover. Almonte weakly popped up to Moustakas at third for out number two and Giovanny Urshela struck out swinging to end it after both runners moved up on a wild pitch.
The Indians fell to 71-72 with the loss. Danny Salazar will start Wednesday evening’s 7:10 PM ET start against KC lefty Danny Duffy. Corey Kluber has been cleared to return to the mound and will wrap up the series for the Tribe on Thursday night as he faces hard-throwing Yordano Ventura.
W: K. Medlen (4-1)
L: J. Tomlin (5-2)
S: G. Holland (31)
HR: A. Rios (4, 5th inning off Tomlin, 0 on, 2 out)
Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak