Sunday is Fun Day as Indians Rout Royals; Indians 10, Royals 1
Bob Toth | On 28, May 2017
Josh Tomlin allowed just one run in a complete game effort and was backed by a big day from his offense, including four hits from Jason Kipnis as the Cleveland Indians avoided a sweep and a rare four-game losing skid behind a 10-1 thumping of the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
The Indians took out some frustrations on the Royals and starter Danny Duffy after putting up a fairly poor showing in each of the first two games of the series this weekend. They racked up their ten runs on 18 hits and scored in five straight innings, beginning in the third.
The manufactured run came in handy for the Indians in the third frame, coming after Tomlin retired his sixth straight Royals hitter. Austin Jackson singled to right and moved to second on a walk by the light-hitting Roberto Perez. A sacrifice from Erik Gonzalez moved both men up 90 feet and brought Kipnis to the plate and he promptly delivered, taking the left-hander Duffy’s second offering and sending it back into center for an RBI-single to put Cleveland on the board, 1-0. After Daniel Robertson popped out to short for the second out, Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak with a first pitch single to left, driving in Perez to make it a two-run lead.
Tomlin was aided by a nice double play to end the fourth, needing just seven pitches to get out of the inning. Lorenzo Cain singled with one out, but was doubled off of first on a liner to Carlos Santana, who beat the speedy KC outfielder back to the bag easily. The Cleveland bats then returned as the slumping Jose Ramirez singled to left and scored all the way from first on a double by Jackson. His second hit of the game made it a 3-0 game. The Indians would load the bases on walks by Perez and Kipnis, but Robertson lined out to leave the ducks firmly on the pond.
Tomlin’s lone mistake was the familiar solo home run, as Jorge Bonifacio continued his good weekend against Tribe pitching with a solo homer to left to make it a 3-1 game.
Cleveland doubled its score in the fifth in support of its starter. Brantley reached on an infield single, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring easily on a Santana single to make it 4-1. After a single to left by Edwin Encarnacion, Seth Maness was summoned from the Royals bullpen to provide relief, but he was unable to do it quietly. Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Encarnacion forced at second. Ramirez stole second before a sacrifice fly from Jackson made it a 5-1 game. Perez followed with a single to right, driving home Ramirez to make it a 6-1 Indians lead.
The Tribe tacked on for the fourth straight inning in the bottom of the sixth with their second straight three-run inning. Kipnis doubled to center to start the inning against reliever Miguel Almonte before pinch-hitter Bradley Zimmer delivered with a double of his own, driving in Kipnis to make it 7-1. After a flyout by Brantley moved Zimmer to third, the Indians rookie center fielder scored easily on a single to right by Santana. A walk by Encarnacion and a single by Ramirez loaded the bases for Jackson, who once again came through with a big hit as he lifted his second sacrifice fly of the game to center to score Santana to make it an eight-run lead at 9-1.
For good measure, Kipnis homered the next frame off of reliever Travis Wood to send the Indians to double-digits.
Tomlin took the mound in the ninth, giving up a double with two outs to Eric Hosmer before getting Drew Butera to ground out. The right-hander faced no more than five batters in any one inning and went the distance, earning his third win of the year.
The Indians avoided the sweep and the four-game losing skid with the big and needed win, improving to 25-22 on the year. The Royals dropped to 20-28 with the loss. Duffy took the loss for the boys in blue, his fourth of the season, and saw his quality start streak end at four straight.
TOMLIN RETURNS AS THE STOPPER
Tomlin had made quite the name for himself around the clubhouse as the man to stop losing streaks and while that had not always been the case of late, he dug deep and pitched a gem against the Royals in his second consecutive strong start against Kansas City this season.
In his complete game effort, he allowed just one fifth-inning run on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three in throwing the fifth complete game of his eight-year career. He threw 79 of 111 pitches for strikes and pitched from ahead in the count for much of the day, throwing first pitch strikes to 24 of 32 batters. With the win, Tomlin improved to 10-4 in his career against Kansas City.
DUFFY DINGED UP
In his shortest outing of the season, Duffy was hit around hard by the Indians. He lasted just four-plus innings, giving up six runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts in that span.
Eighteen of his 27 earned runs allowed this season have come in his three worst starts. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in the other eight games this season.
TRY TO KEEP ME OFF BASE
Kipnis’ big day at the plate included a 4-for-4 effort with two singles, a double, a homer, and two RBI to give him 19 on the season. He reached in all five trips in total as he also drew a walk on the afternoon.
STREAKS EXTENDED OR ON HOLD
The hitting streak of Brantley has equaled that of Francisco Lindor at 12 games. The Indians left fielder went 3-for-5 in the ball game with three singles and drove in his 21st run of the season. He was able to catch Lindor’s streak as the Tribe shortstop got a rare off day, coming on the heels but not necessarily related to some rare issues in the field.
Encarnacion pushed his hitting streak to seven straight with his single in the later stages of the contest.
SALAZAR BULLPEN BOUND
The Indians announced prior to the game that Saturday’s starter Danny Salazar, after another rocky start on the mound, would be getting in some work in the bullpen and could miss some starts while trying to sort out the issues that have plagued him on the mound all season long, but in reality have dated back in some form to the All-Star break of the 2016 season. High walk rates have negated a start that saw him producing strikeouts at the best rate in all of baseball for a stretch of time.
As the Royals head home to start a homestand with their first head-to-head battle this season with the division rival Detroit Tigers, the Indians will welcome in the Oakland Athletics for a four-game series, beginning with Monday’s holiday 4:10 PM ET start time.
Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 2.93 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Cleveland, with 24-year-old mustachioed right-hander Daniel Mengden set to make his season debut in place of the injured Kendall Graveman for Oakland.
Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images