8-9-1 Hitters, Salazar Help Tribe Snap Skid; Indians 7, Royals 5

Did the Tribe Win Last Night? Yes!

8-9-1 hitters (Roberto Perez, Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis) drove in all seven Cleveland runs to snap a four-game losing streak with a 7-5 win over the Royals on Wednesday night. Danny Salazar pitched six strong innings and struck out seven to improve to 3-0 on the year.

After the Royals plated two runs in the first, Kipnis brought the Indians back in the third with his first home run of the season – a three-run shot off Yordano Ventura.

In the sixth, Eric Hosmer‘s two-run homer put the Royals back on top 4-3. Cleveland responded with three consecutive one-out doubles from Lonnie Chisenhall, Perez, and Bourn to go ahead 5-4. Kipnis then drove in Bourn with a groundout to first to give the Tribe 6-4 advantage.

Perez added a solo home run in the eighth to cap off a perfect 3-3 night at the plate.

Zach McAllister pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the hold and Cody Allen closed out the ninth for his fourth save.

WP: Salazar (3-0)     LP: Ventura (2-2)     HLD: McAllister (1)     SV: Allen (4)

Key Inning: Sixth. Eric Hosmer put the Royals ahead 4-3 with a two-run home run, but the Indians responded with three consecutive one-out doubles from Chisenhall, Perez, and Bourn to reclaim the lead for good.

Players of the Game: Perez, Bourn, Kipnis. The Tribe’s No. 8, 9, and 1 hitters combined for six hits (6-11), two home runs, six runs, and seven RBI. Kipnis’ three-run homer brought the Indians back in the third and Perez and Bourn’s back-to-back doubles rallied the Indians again in the sixth.

They Said It: “Something has to change soon, real [expletive] soon, or else it’s going to be a long season,” Trevor Bauer vented about the Tribe’s slow start after pitching six innings on Tuesday. Perhaps tonight’s win will spark that change.

Standings: Cleveland improves to 7-13 on the season. They are seven games behind the AL Central-leading Tigers (15-7), who beat Minnesota 10-7. Kansas City (14-7) falls a half game back.

Etc: There was a scary moment in the fifth when a 96mph fastball got away from Salazar and hit Alcides Escobar in the face. Escobar was on the ground for several minutes before being helped off the field and into the Kansas City locker room.

Prior to the game, the Indians purchased the contract of right handed reliever Ryan Webb from Columbus and designated first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands for assignment. Webb was 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA in five games with the Clippers. Sands was hitting .348 (8-23) with four RBI in nine games with the Tribe.

Analysis: Good pitching, good offense, and good defense. The Indians put it all together to fight off the reigning AL champs on Wednesday night. Despite giving up four runs, Salazar pitched well and Zach McAllister and Cody Allen did a great job in relief to seal the victory. After going 0-12 against Detroit last weekend, Bourn rebounded nicely hitting .364 (4-11) versus the Royals. If he can continue to get on base from the nine spot, that bodes well for Kipnis who’s hitting .280 with runners on (.208 with bases empty). It was nice to finally see a total team effort tonight. Hopefully this is a sneak peek of what we’ll see more often in May.

Up Next: The Blue Jays come to town on Thursday for a four-game series with the Tribe. Game one will be a battle of southpaws as T.J. House (0-3, 12.60) takes on 2011 second round pick Daniel Norris (1-1, 4.43). House hasn’t fooled anyone this season, allowing 14 runs in 10 innings of work. If he doesn’t pitch well here, he might find himself in Columbus very soon. First pitch is 7:10pm ET.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Tony Dejak

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