Surging Santana helps end Tribe’s Skid; Indians 10, Royals 3

After starting the Indians 11 game road trip on such a positive note by taking three in a row in Detroit, the Tribe ended it on another positive note by salvaging the final game of their series in Kansas City by a score of 10-3.

The Indians started their post-All-Star break road trip 3-0, but then Cleveland had dropped six of their next seven.  Using a comeback approach on Sunday, the Tribe was able to defeat the Royals and finish the pivotal road trip with a 5-6 record.  The red-hot Carlos Santana continued his home run barrage by slugging two more in the contest as well.

The Royals were able to take the lead in the second inning off of Tribe starter Danny Salazar when three straight two out singles plated the game’s first run.  Billy Butler, Brett Hayes and Jarrod Dyson were the culprits for Kansas City.  The Royals then pushed their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the third, catapulted by a Nori Aoki leadoff double.  Two batters later, Aoki scored on a sacrifice fly to left by All-Star Alex Gordon.

The Indians were able to cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth, as Asdrubal Cabrera collected the Tribe’s first hit of the game with a leadoff single through the left side of the infield.  Cabrera was pushed to second when Santana was hit by a pitch from Royals starter Bruce Chen and then came around to score Cleveland’s first run on an RBI single by Yan Gomes.

The Tribe offense then continued to roll from there, as they plated four runs in the fifth that were kick-started by a Roberto Perez single to left.  After a sacrifice bunt by Mike Aviles, Jose Ramirez singled to center to move Perez to third.  Another single by Cabrera tied the ballgame and chased Ramirez to third base before Michael Brantley untied the game with a sac fly to put the score at 3-2.  Santana then put an exclamation mark on the inning by blasting his 19th home run just over the wall in right field to put the Indians lead at 5-2.  Ryan Raburn’s third home run of the season in the sixth pushed the score to 6-2 and ran Chen from the game.

Salazar, meanwhile, had settled in to compile an effective start while the Indians offense gave him plenty of breathing room.  After allowing the two single tallies in the second and third, Salazar did not allow another Royal to touch home until giving up an RBI double to Butler in the sixth.  Overall, Salazar worked seven quality innings giving up the three runs on seven hits.  Perhaps most importantly, Salazar did not walk any hitters and struck out seven.

The Tribe was able to answer Kansas City’s single tally with another run of their own in the top of the seventh.  Brantley started the inning by ripping a single to center off of reliever Jason Frasor and then moved into scoring position on a single by Santana.  A double play moved Brantley to third and then the All-Star came in to score on a single to right by Nick Swisher to make the score 7-3.

Holding firm with a four run cushion in the ninth, the Tribe continued to roll as a Brantley double was followed by Santana’s second blast of the game and then another big fly by Gomes to erase all doubt and put the score at 10-3.  Rookie Kyle Crockett worked a scoreless ninth to seal the victory for Cleveland.

The Indians will head back home on Tuesday after taking a day off on Monday.  The Tribe will send Trevor Bauer (4-5, 3.93) to the hill to kick-off a three game series against the Seattle Mariners at 7:05.  The M’s will counter the young right hander with Hisashi Iwakuma (8-5, 3.09).

Photo: Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

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