The Tribe again failed to capitalize on another promising start in today's 10-5 loss to the Royals. To add injury to insult, Ryan Raburn and Zach Walters both left the game early after suffering injuries.
Ryan Raburn hit a double in the opening frame, slipping spectacularly on his way to 2nd base, but still making it comfortably. That slip explained why he was removed very early on, at the start of the 4th, with what was later described as "left knee discomfort".
Nothing is going right for Zach Walters right now. Having recorded just two hits (including a solitary extra base) so far in spring training, he injured himself while batting in the 5th today and was pulled out midway through an AB. It was later reported that he had suffered a "right abdominal strain".
Carlos Santana was the main highlight offensively, crushing a 2-run homer to RF in the 5th to add to an earlier single. (Here's the video of the home run.) However, Roberto Perez wasn't far behind. After scoring a two-run homer to LF in the 2nd (video), Perez later added a walk, while also helping out defensively by throwing out a base-stealer (his third already in ST).
Michael Bourn had another good outing with a couple of singles from three ABs, while Jesus Aguilar went 2-4 and is having a very solid spring, albeit without yet being able to impose his trademark power.
There was a brief half-chance of a revival in the 8th, when the Tribe loaded the bases with one out after Ryan Rohlinger and Aguilar singled and Brett Hayes was hit by a pitch. However, Tyler Naquin grounded into a double play and the game was effectively over.
On the pitching side, Nick Maronde started his first-ever game in a Tribe uniform - and put up a very creditable performance indeed. His final line was 3 IP/4 H/1 ER/0 BB/1 SO, and the zero walks is especially encouraging given the issues that Maronde has had in walking people in the recent past.
However, for the second time in less than a week, things began to unravel once Bryan Shaw came to the mound. His final line of 1 IP/4 H/3ER/1 BB/1 SO wasn't an unfair reflection on what was another pretty ragged display.
The Royals then piled into middle relievers Scott Downs, Anthony Swarzak and Charles Brewer for six more runs. Downs only managed to retire a single hitter before he was removed after 32 pitches, whereas Swarzak gave up three hits in 1.2 IP and Brewer conceded a 2-run homer in the 7th.
CC Lee finally put a lid on things in the 8th, helped by a spectacular double play turned by Martinez/Gonzalez/Santana. However, by then the Tribe were down 10-5, so it was already a lost cause. In the 9th Jeff Manship loaded the bases with the help of two walks, but just barely managed to escape without conceding any runs.
There will be better days...