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Indians best Royals on stellar pitching and a dash of luck

No matter how hard Tom Hamilton tried, he couldn't help the Royals pull this one out

Kip sores the go-ahead run, despite going 0-4 at the plate
Kip sores the go-ahead run, despite going 0-4 at the plate
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Indians 2, Royals 1

box score

Indians improve to 25-26



After the Indians grounded into two double plays in the 8th inning, Michael Brantley delivered an RBI single to put the Indians ahead for good. It was undoubtedly a clutch piece of hitting, but it wouldn't have been the game winner if not for the odd luck and incredible pitching that preceded it.

Only God knows why the Cleveland Indians can't hit Jeremy Guthrie. They managed just two hits off of him tonight, but still managed to knock him out before the end of the 6th inning. Fortunately, one of those hits was a Brandon Moss homer, a rocket shot that came on the 11th pitch of the at bat.

The Moss homer tied the game at 1-1 in the 4th inning after the Royals had gotten ahead early. Carlos Carrasco looked a bit shaky toward the beginning of the game, laboring to get through the Kansas City lineup. He kept them from scoring until the 3rd, when wild pitch and two singles put KC on the board. Though he got out of the 3rd without further damage, the shakiness carried over into the 4th. But again, despite yielding a walk and a single, the Royals failed to score. From then on, Cookie didn't look back. He finished his outing with three straight 1-2-3 inning, mowing down the vaunted (by Tom Hamilton) Royals lineup to the tune of 8 strikeouts.

The Indians couldn't scrape together any kind of threat aside from the Moss homer. KC defense started the game stellar as usual. Jason Kipnis smoked a liner into the gap to lead off the game, but Alex Gordon reached peak extension to rob Kip of a sure double (at least). The Indians had nothing doing on offense until a two-out Carlos Santana double in the 6th, which knocked out Guthrie but lead to nothing. But that vaunted (by everyone) Royals defense and pitching broke down in the late innings.

Wade Davis walked Michael Bourn (!) to start off the Tribe 8th, and Jose Ramirez followed that by promptly grounding into a double play. Only thing is, he was ruled safe. Unfortunately, there's instead replay now, so that call was over... no wait, the call somehow stood despite Ramirez looking pretty clearly out to me, at least. That gave Jason Kipnis the opportunity to ground into a double play of his own to end the inning. Except that this time, Omar Infante bobbled the ball and allowed Kipnis to reach base. Kip stole 2nd, which didn't really matter after the unstoppable Davis issued his second walk of the inning. Flustered, the most perfect specimen to ever stand atop a pitcher's mound gave up a line-drive, RBI single to Dr. Smooth after an eight-pitch battle.

For fear of letting Tom Hamilton down completely, Eric Hosmer made an incredible stop on what would have been an easy RBI double from the next batter, Brandon Moss. Too bad Davis forgot to cover the bag, allowing the Indians to load the bases. The only saving grace for Cy Wade was the fact the once every nine batters, Nick Swisher is obligated to step into the batter's box. Despite a solid at bat, Swish grounded out to end the inning, but Brantley's RBI was all the Tribe would need.

The bullpen, finding it's groove as of late, devastated the KC lineup over the last two innings. Nick Hagadone, Bryan Shaw, an Scrabble combined for a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. Cody Allen came on to close the game, mowing down two batters and inducing a weak grounder for the final out.

So the Indians march on, ever closer to .500, despite scattering just six hits over nine innings tonight. Carlos Carrasco gets his third win in a row, dominating once again and continuing the season-long trend of excellent starting pitching. And just for funsies, the Tigers, Twins, and White Sox all lost tonight as well. Things could be looking up, boys. I have to admit I may have given up on this team a bit too soon.


Win-Expectancy Chart

Source: FanGraphs


Roll Call


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