Indians 6, Royals 2
Tribe improves to 26-27
The Indians just took two of three on the road from the Royals, who've been one of the best teams in baseball so far this season, and are one of the three teams the Tribe will have to pass if they're going to win the AL Central this season. It was a good night.
Trevor Bauer, who picked up his fifth win of the season, was not at his best, but he stranded at least one runner in each of the first four innings and only allowed anyone to score when Lorenzo Cain (a probable All-Star this season, but not one known for his power) blasted one way over the fence in the bottom of the 3rd. Fortunately, even after that rocket the Indians were still ahead, because they'd scored four runs of their own in the top half of the inning.
Michael Bourn led things off with an infield single and then stole second, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a single by Jason Kipnis. That was followed by a Carlos Santana double and a Michael Brantley single to score a second run. Santana and Brantley eventually scored on a double by David Murphy, who continues to hit well.
The Tribe added two more runs in the 5th, when Brandon Moss hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season. (Thanks, Mr. Beane.) Bauer settled in and retired eleven batters in a row before giving up a two-out single in the 7th inning, which ended his night. Nick Hagadone put me on edge by coming in and letting Mike Moustakas walk (a thing that doesn't happen much for the swing-happy third baseman), but Bryan Shaw came in and got a fairly routine fly out to end the threat.
With one out in the bottom of the 8th, a huge lightning bolt lit the sky, and the grounds crew quickly pulled the tarp on the field. It wasn't raining at that moment, but they knew what they were doing, as sheets of rain were falling within another minute or two. Even though the Royals hadn't gotten as many outs as the Indians, the game was called, due to a little-known rule that allows for such a thing when the team that is leading was already leading prior to the start of that inning.
With the Indians having to fly home tonight, that was a nice break, allowing them to board an airplane around the time they would have expected to. (Whether the plane would be able to take off on-time in that weather is something I don't know.)
The Indians are back within a game of .500, and will now return home to face Baltimore over the weekend. Meanwhile, with number of other teams scuffling of late (Detroit especially, having lost seven games in a row now), our favorite team is only 1.5 games behind the second Wild Card spot, and only half a game behind the Tigers for 3rd place in the division. Today's results put Minnesota back in 1st, six games in front of the Tribe.
A losing record at the end of play on June 4th is not what I wanted when the season began, but considering where things stood three weeks ago, I'm delighted with the current state of the American League standings.
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