The Indians won their 93rd game of the season on Saturday with a lethal combination of arms and legs, defeating the Kansas City Royals 6-3.
First, let’s talk about the arms. Tribe starter Trevor Bauer delivered a respectable outing, going 6 full innings while giving up 3 runs on 6 hits — and chalking up 9 strikeouts. All of KC’s hits and runs came in only 2 innings. In the third inning, after retiring the Royals’ first 8 batters, Bauer gave up 3 consecutive singles to plate KC’s first run. Then in the sixth inning, the first two KC batters banged doubles and Bauer gave up another single to enable the Royals to score their other 2 runs.
As they’ve done all season, the Tribe used their legs on the base paths to make the difference in this contest. They stole another two bases, pushing their AL-leading total to 135 for the season. I’m still amazed that an Indians team is leading the AL in stolen bags. It’s one sign that this year’s club is different. And more than a little special.
Both stolen bases sparked runs for the Indians. In the second inning, Coco Crisp led off with a walk, promptly stole second and was in a position to score when Tyler Naquin singled. In the eighth, with the game tied at 3, pinch-hitter Rajai Davis led off with a walk, promptly stole second, and was in a position to score when Royals’ second baseman Whit Merrifield couldn’t handle a hot grounder from pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte.
Another Indians’ run was aided by fleet feet. In the fifth inning, Francisco Lindor led off with a walk and really hustled to go from first to third on a Jose Ramirez single. That move put Lindor in a position to score on a sac fly from Lonnie Chisenhall.
Chiz was responsible for another Indians’ run as well. In the third, hitting with two outs, Lonnie scorched a triple off the right field wall and later scored on a wild pitch by Royals’ starter Edinson Volquez.
The Tribe’s other runs were driven in during the crucial eighth when Lindor, batting left-handed, reached for an outside pitched and stroked a double down the third base line with Almonte and Roberto Perez on base.
This win was important as Cleveland vies for home field advantage in the ALDS. They are currently deadlocked with Boston, each with identical 93-67 records.
The Indians go for the Royal flush as they look to sweep the final series of the regular season on Sunday and keep their home field advantage hopes alive.