On Wednesday night, in a game which wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would indicate, the Kansas City Royals trashed the Indians, 9-4. The Indians did almost nothing right, and the Royals took advantage of some sloppy Indians defense and a sub-par pitching performance by Corey Kluber for a decisive win over the Tribe. It was the kind of game that only Cleveland’s own Derf could love.
First off, the Indians’ offense was almost non-existent. True, leadoff hitter Rajai Davis did hit a home run in the fifth inning, and Michael Martinez, who batted ninth, went three for three with a homer of his own. But the rest of the lineup, the #2 through #8 hitters, went a combined 1 for 26. One. For. Twenty-six. That’s pretty bad.
Secondly, Kluber had one of his worst games in recent memory. He got off to a bad start, giving up two runs in the first inning. When the Indians tied the score at 2-2 after Davis’s homer, Kluber wasted almost no time in letting the Royals regain the lead. Thanks in part to a misplayed fly ball which landed between Tyler Naquin in center and Lonnie Chisenhall in right, the Royals scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from Kluber. Kloob then gave up consecutive singles before allowing a home run to deep center off the bat of Salvador Perez, giving the Royals a 6-2 lead.
The sixth inning was almost as bad. Four different Tribe pitchers let the Royals put the game out of reach as they gave up four singles and two walks, allowing three more runs to score. It was 9-2 before Martinez hit his garbage-time homer to bring the Indians a little closer, but that was as good as it got for the Tribe.
The Indians got swept by the Royals and ended their ten-game road trip with a record of 4-6. The Indians and Royals are now tied for first in the AL Central with identical records of 35-30. On Thursday, the Indians will have their first day off in three weeks, and you’d better believe they could use one. They open a six-game home stand on Friday, playing three games against the Chicago White Sox before welcoming the Tampa Bay Rays.