An early 5-2 lead for the Indians evaporated in the 5th inning Friday afternoon in Goodyear, as the Royals put up a
crooked round, but doubly so number and went on to win 11-9, dropping the Tribe to 2-2 in the all-important Cactis League standings.
Michael Bourn had a single and two walks; Zach Walters, Audy Ciriaco, and Destin Hood (I like that name) each doubled; Ryan Raburn, Jesus Aguilar, and Roberto Perez each had two hits; and Tyler Holt stole a base (against Salvador Perez, a fine defensive catcher), so there were some good things offensively. Most of the position players involved today are going to be backups or minor leaguers come Opening Day though, so while I'd rather they did well than struggle, they weren't the most notable portion of the day.
The most notable part of the day, in terms of keeping an eye on things that might matter, was Danny Salazar making his first in-game appearance of the spring. It was, in a word, Salazarian.
Danny struck out the first two batters he faced, then gave up a home run to Alex Rios. In the 2nd inning he sandwiched two more strikeouts around a pair of hits (scoring another run), then walked a man before getting out of the inning. Four strikeouts in two innings is nice, but a walk and a home run are not.
Said Terry Francona after the game, "In the season, you can probably nitpick, but in spring training for a first outing, I thought the ball came out of Salazar's hand really well."
Two innings apiece is not nearly enough to change the pecking order among the candidates for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, but T.J. House certainly looked the best of the bunch in his first outing.
Shaun Marcum pitched a pair of scoreless innings, which is nice to see. Bryan Shaw came out for the 5th, gave up four hits, and got the opposite of help from his defense, especially Walters, who was in at third base. That inning put the Tribe behind 10-5, and though they rallied late, it wasn't enough.
On Saturday the Indians host the Dodgers. Slated to throw the first 2-3 innings: Corey Kluber --make that, reigning Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber.