Did the Tribe Win Last Night? No. The Indians had taken an early 2-0 lead on a Michael Brantley homerun in the top of the first inning, but starting pitcher Danny Salazar coughed up an opposite field, three-run homer to Eric Hosmer in the bottom half and the Royals never looked back on their way to a 5-3 victory. The Tribe offense struggled against starter Jason Vargas, who worked six innings and allowed just two hits.
Salazar worked seven innings and struck out nine, but the homerun by Hosmer with an RBI single from Alex Gordon in the fifth and an RBI triple by Hosmer off of Nick Hagadone in the eighth was plenty of offense for Kansas City. Salazar made only made the one big mistake in the first, but was a victim of the Indians anemic offense as he suffered his first loss of the year.
Before the Royals scored their fifth run in the bottom half of the eighth, Lonnie Chisenhall had cut the score to 4-3 with a solo homerun, his second of the year, to lead off the top half.
WP: Vargas (3-1) LP: Salazar (3-1) S: Davis (6)
Key Inning: The top of the sixth, but because of what didn’t happen as opposed to what happened. After KC extended their lead to 4-2 the inning prior, Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a double over the head of Alex Gordon in left, and Carlos Santana had worked his count to 3-0. Despite being in total control of the at bat, Santana chopped the 3-0 pitch weakly to third and was retired with Kipnis staying put at second. Back-to-back groundouts by Michael Brantley and Ryan Raburn ended the inning and the Indians offensive life for the evening.
Player of the Game: Hosmer drove in four of the Royals five runs with his three-run blast in the first and his RBI triple in the eighth.
Standings: The Indians dropped to 9-16 on the season and into last place in the AL Central. The Royals, meanwhile, jumped to 17-9 and into a tie atop the division prior to the outcome of Tuesday’s Tigers-White Sox game.
-The Indians have now lost eight of nine times in games that opened up a series this season.
-Santana started the game batting in the second slot of the lineup for the sixth time in his career, the last time occurring last season when he appeared in that slot once. It was Santana’s first time out of four-hole this season. Raburn took Santana’s usual spot hitting cleanup.
–Nick Swisher played in his first Major League game since August 9 of last year. Swisher had surgery on his knees and missed the remainder of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. Swisher batted .375 with a homerun and five RBI in his six rehab games at AAA Columbus over the previous week and finished 0-4 with two strikeouts on Tuesday.
Up Next: The Indians will look to get even on Wednesday night at 8:10pm EST at Kauffman Stadium. The Tribe will send right hander Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 4.98) to the mound to face off against Royals lefty Danny Duffy (2-0, 3.45).