Royals Rout Indians for Tribe’s Fourth Straight Loss; Royals 7, Indians 1
Bob Toth | On 25, Aug 2018
The American League Central sleepwalk, coupled with a tough series with Boston earlier in the week, appear to have taken their toll on the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe dropped a season-high fourth straight game on Saturday, shelled by the Kansas City Royals, 7-1.
It was another tough start for Corey Kluber, who saw his four-game winning streak disappear in a rough outing against KC. The Royals fell behind early, but fought back and scored runs in five of their final six trips to the plate to bury the Indians with a big loss.
The Indians took a second inning lead against Heath Fillmyer, but would be unable to do anything else against the right-hander, who contributed significantly to the Tribe’s one run of offense. With one out in the inning, Yonder Alonso walked and three pitches later moved to third on a double by Melky Cabrera. With Jason Kipnis at the plate with two on and one out, Fillmyer balked, moving Alonso across the plate with the first run of the game. Kipnis struck out and Yan Gomes grounded out to end the inning.
Kluber worked a quiet first around a two-out walk of Salvador Perez and he got a double play to get out of the second after a leadoff single from Jorge Bonifacio. The third inning would have different results for the Royals, as Adalberto Mondesi singled, stole second, and scored ahead of the throw to the plate on a single by Whit Merrifield. Kluber escaped further harm with another double play grounder.
The Royals delivered the big blow in the fourth. Perez led off the inning with a double and Lucas Duda reached on an infield single. Bonifacio sacrificed both runners up and the manufacturing efforts worked as Ryan O’Hearn doubled both runners in to make it 3-1.
Kluber had his only 1-2-3 inning of the night in the fifth before running into trouble again in the sixth. After a strikeout by Perez, Duda homered to right to make it 4-1. Bonifacio walked and O’Hearn walked before a single by Hunter Dozier plated a fifth run. Manager Terry Francona turned to his bullpen and Oliver Perez got the job done, retiring Rosell Herrera on a double play grounder, the third of the game for the Royals.
Fillmyer allowed runners in the fourth, fifth, and sixth, but kept the Indians away from a return trip to home plate. Alonso singled with two outs in the fourth, Gomes followed suit in the fifth with a one-out base hit, and Jose Ramirez walked with one out before being erased on a double play grounder from Edwin Encarnacion.
Fillmyer was lifted for Tim Hill, who allowed a double to Cabrera in the seventh. He moved to third on a groundout by Kipnis, but he was left there in the 5-1 game when Gomes popped up against reliever Jake Newberry.
Dan Otero came on for O. Perez after the stretch, but two quick hits extended the Royals’ lead. Mondesi reached on an infield single and on the next pitch, Merrifield knocked him in with a double to left. The inning ended with the Indians’ fourth double play of the night, as S. Perez’s liner to left doubled off Merrifield from second.
Josh Tomlin made his second trip in from the bullpen since returning from the disabled list earlier in the week, but he would give up three hits in his inning of work. Duda doubled to start the inning and scored one out later on a single by O’Hearn. Herrera moved him to second with two outs, but Mondesi flied out.
Down to their final three outs, Jason Hammel handled the Tribe quietly. Ramirez flied out before Encarnacion singled. He moved to second on a wild pitch, but advanced no further as Alonso fouled out and Cabrera struck out swinging.
The Indians (73-56) lost their fourth straight contest on their road trip to guarantee a losing trip. The Royals (40-90) finally achieved 40 wins on the year with their second straight victory.
Fillmyer earned his second big league win with a quality six innings of work. He allowed a run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Three relievers behind him combined for three shutout innings of two-hit work with three strikeouts.
Kluber had a tough go and got the hook after 88 pitches with one out in the sixth. He was charged with five runs on nine hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He had swing and miss stuff at times, but he left some pitches in places in which the Royals feasted.
“I thought he was okay,” said Francona after the game. “There were some pitches, a couple of cutters, a couple of fastballs, he didn’t locate and he really paid for it. I thought his breaking ball was a little bit better. The mistakes, they jumped on them pretty good when he made them.”
The Royals had five multi-hit games. Duda had three hits and scored three times. Merrifield, Bonifacio, O’Hearn, and Mondesi each reached twice, with the latter scoring twice.
Cabrera was the only Indians hitter to record a multi-hit game and he did so with the team’s only extra base hits on the day. His two doubles gave him ten on the season. The team went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and scored their only run via balk.
The Indians will look to salvage the series on Sunday afternoon in a 2:10 PM ET first pitch.
Jorge Lopez (0-3, 3.99 ERA), a 25-year-old right-hander, will look for his second career big league win as the Royals aim for the sweep. He came over to Kansas City in the Mike Moustakas trade. The Indians will send 23-year-old Shane Bieber (7-2, 4.36) to the mound in opposition. He faced the Royals on July 3, giving up four runs on nine hits in six innings of work in a victory. He will look to continue a perfect start to his road career; he is 3-0 in seven starts with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images