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Game 135: Indians 5, Royals 4

Asdrubal Cabrera would leave the game after fouling a pitch off his knee, but not before hitting a home run.
Asdrubal Cabrera would leave the game after fouling a pitch off his knee, but not before hitting a home run.

The Indians finally solved Bruce Chen in their third try. Chen had twirled quality starts in his first two times facing the Tribe, but the Indians hit him early and often Friday night. In  the first inning, Carlos Santana's double over Jeff Francouer's head gave the Indians a 1-0 lead.

In the third inning, the Indians added to their lead, but lost one of their few remaining offensive threats. Asdrubal Cabrera fouled a pitch off his left knee; though he would continued his at-bat, even homering, he would leave in the bottom of the inning after trying to defense. X-rays were negative, and he's listed at day-to-day, though I'd be shocked if he played tomorrow. Cabrera's injury meant that Cord Phelps entered the game at second, with Donald sliding over to third. Phelps 0-for-2, continuing a very lengthy hitting slump. The Indians may have to shift Jack Hannahan to shortstop in Cabrera's absence to keep some semblance of a lineup.

Jason Donald's fifth-inning home run pushed the Tribe lead to 5-0. Donald has gotten hot at the perfect time, as both Cord Phelps and Luis Valbuena have contributed almost nothing at second base while Jason Kipnis had been out of the lineup. His production will make it easier to keep Kipnis on the DL, as he rests a pretty serious hamstring injury.

A 5-0 lead was a rare happening for Justin Masterson, and he almost threw away his good fortune. He allowed runs in the fifth and sixth, and gave up a rare home run in the seventh. Gordon's two-run shot lowered the lead to 5-4, and what once seemed a relative easy victory now needed a perfect two innings by Pestano and Perez. They delivered, though Perez lucked out a bit with his inning. Chris fell behind Mike Moustakas 3-1 to begin the ninth, and the Royals third baseman popped up a pitch up in the strike zone for the first out. He got ahead of the next two batters, retired them, and saved his 31st game.

The Indians have needed to win their last six out of eight, as the Tigers have been just as hot. They pummeled the White Sox 8-1, and so the Tribe is still 5.5 back.




Highest WPA Lowest WPA
C. Perez .208 Marson -.074
Pestano .145 Carrera -.066
Santana .095 Hannahan -.036