The Indians got outplayed by the Kansas City Royals tonight.
The final score was 9-5, but that score is somewhat misleading, as the game was never really within reach for the Tribe. At one point the Royals led 6-0.
Indians starter Corey Kluber didn’t exactly have pinpoint control, and his defense did him no favors. The Royals scored four runs in the third inning, thanks in part to Kluber giving up a walk and three hits. But an error by second baseman Jason Kipnis, and first baseman Carlos Santana’s failure to field a grounder so that it could have turned into a double play, effectively gave the Royals five outs in the inning, and they took full advantage. Two innings later, Kluber gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer, making the score 6-0.
The Indians had 10 hits on the night, but only four of them came in the first seven innings. Kansas City starter Jason Vargas pitched a good games, especially early on. The Tribe managed to get three runs on three hits in the eighth, making the score 6-3 . . . for about five or ten minutes. When Kansas City came up to bat in their half of the inning, they got the runs back, thanks to home run blasts from Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas. The homers were given up by Nick Hagadone and Josh Outman.
Three consecutive hits in the ninth, followed later by a sacrifice fly, made the score 9-5, but it was too little, too late. For the first two hours, the Indians looked tired, inattentive, and listless. In other words, they looked the way they looked during April and the first half of May. The first-place Tigers were idle tonight, as their game with the White Sox was postponed due to rain in Chicago. The loss puts the Tribe 2.5 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central, and five games back in the loss column (the Tigers will have A LOT of games to make up later this season).
The two teams will play again tomorrow afternoon. Trevor Bauer will start for the Indians, and Yordano Ventura will take the mound for the Royals. Let’s hope we see a better brand of baseball from the Tribe. Their next opponents are the Boston Red Sox, in Fenway Park, and I have the feeling that the Red Sox are going to be out for blood.