Royals Flush Tribe With Seven Unanswered; Royals 7, Indians 5
Bob Toth | On 26, Jul 2014
What looked to be a promising start ended in a disappointing finish in Kansas City on Saturday night, as Cleveland squandered a five-run second inning by allowing seven unanswered runs in the middle frames as the Royals came away with a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the Indians.
The Royals erupted off of Indians starter Zach McAllister, chipping away at the Cleveland lead over the third and fourth innings before taking the lead for good in the fifth.
A leadoff single to right by Alcides Escobar in the third started the frame for the Royals. After falling behind in the count 0-2, Nori Aoki reached on an infield single to second base and Escobar went all the way to third. Omar Infante knocked Escobar home on a fielder’s choice groundout to short, where Aoki was retired at second but the relay throw to first was not in time. A pair of pop outs ended the threat with the Indians holding a 5-1 advantage at the time.
In the fourth, Mike Moustakas worked a five-pitch walk to start the inning. After a pop out by Billy Butler to second, Lorenzo Cain singled to center. With runners now on the corners, McAllister struck out Jarrod Dyson for the second out, but Escobar singled in front of David Murphy in right to score Moustakas from third. Now down 5-2, Thursday night’s hero Aoki worked the count full before slashing a shot down the right field line into the corner. His two-run triple made it a 5-4 game. A passed ball by Yan Gomes one pitch later, as the backstop was set up low and away and McAllister missed up and in, enabled the runner from third to score to tie the game at five.
A single from Salvador Perez ended McAllister’s night before he could retire a batter in the fifth. Nick Hagadone came on in relief and retired Moustakas on a pop to third, but then allowed a mammoth blast to Butler, Friday night’s pinch-hit hero, to give the Royals their first lead of the night at 7-5.
McAllister (3-6) was charged with six runs, five earned, on eight hits in four-plus innings. He struck out three Royals and walked two.
All of this occurred after the Indians jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning off of Royals starter and former Indians pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.
Carlos Santana started the scoring in the second decisively. Leading off the inning, he sent a long drive over the wall in right-center. His 18th homer of the season extended his team lead and gave him three in the last two games and four in the last five.
After a pair of quick outs, Gomes singled to left field. Murphy followed with a walk and Mike Aviles, one of two righties in the lineup for the Indians, lined a single to center to score a hustling Gomes from second to extend the lead to 2-0.
Jason Kipnis, who entered the game batting .588 in his career against Guthrie, slapped his 15th double of the year to the gap in right-center, scoring both Murphy and Aviles to push the Cleveland box score assault to 4-0. A Jose Ramirez infield single to first, one made possible by Guthrie failing to cover the bag, enabled Michael Brantley to go the other way with a single to left field, scoring Kipnis with his team-leading 64th RBI of the season and giving the Indians a five-spot in the inning. A walk to Santana, the tenth man to bat in the inning, loaded the bases but Chris Dickerson struck out for the second time in the inning to end the onslaught.
The Indians had opportunities throughout the game but were unable to cross the plate again.
A Santana one-out double down the right field line in the fifth was wasted on a flyout and a groundout. The first two men reached off of reliever Scott Downs in the seventh, before Kelvin Herrera came in from the bullpen to retire Santana, Dickerson, and Swisher in order without any further advancement of the runners. With two on and two out in the top of the eighth against Wade Davis, Ramirez struck out to end the threat.
Guthrie (6-9) lucked into a win, courtesy of the silence from the Indians’ bats after a 46-pitch second inning. He worked five and two-thirds innings, allowing five earned runs on ten hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Greg Holland pitched a quick and quiet ninth for his 27th save of the season.
With the win, the Royals improve to 53-50 and put more distance between themselves and the Indians. Cleveland falls to 51-53 and has now dropped four straight and five of six.
In order to add McAllister to the roster for Saturday’s game, the Indians optioned starting pitcher Josh Tomlin to Triple-A Columbus after another start decimated by the long ball.
The Indians will send Danny Salazar (2-4, 5.12 ERA) to the mound in Sunday’s series finale. He has lost both of his career starts against the Royals with a 6.97 ERA.
The Indians will have their work cut out for them tomorrow as they do battle with yet another left-handed starting pitcher. The Royals will send out Bruce Chen (2-2, 5.80) in the series finale. He is 0-1 in two games against Cleveland this season, one start and one relief appearance.
The Indians are 13-19 in games started by a left-handed pitcher.
Follow along with any combination of your favorite TV or radio broadcasters at 2:10 PM ET on Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio and the affiliates of the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.
Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel