Indians 5, Royals 4
Tribe improves to 28-24
After watching Carlos Carrasco go down in severe pain on April 24 at Comerica Field in Detroit, I would have lost a bet if somebody told me he'd be pitching again by early June for the Tribe. I'm sure glad I was wrong.
With all that said, Carrasco looked a bit rusty Thursday evening in the Tribe's series opener against the Royals. While the right-hander's velocity looked good, hitting 94-95 mph often, he did allow nine hits over just five innings (due to a limited pitch count).
Carrasco's first inning back was a little rough, allowing singles to Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer. Luckily, he got Kendrys Morales to ground into a double play, but the tone would be set with Carrasco having to work through trouble every inning. He gave up a single in the second inning, but got out of trouble after a strike 'em out / throw 'em out (thanks Yan!).
Kansas City finally got on the board in the third inning after a Jarrod Dyson single and a Drew Butera home run to the porch in left field. It was Butera's first home run of the year and gave the Royals the lead. Three more Kansas City hits in the fourth inning added up to another run for the Royals. Austin Adams relieved Carrasco in the sixth and promptly gave up a solo homer to third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert, pushing the Royals to 4-2.
Kansas City's starter, Yordano Ventura, worked around some trouble too, but held the Tribe to just two runs over six innings. The first of those runs came in the second inning, with Lonnie Chisenhall singling home Mike Napoli. The Tribe added another run in the third, after a Jose Ramirez single drove in Francisco Lindor.
Down two runs with six outs left and facing the difficult back-end of the Royals bullpen, the Indians scored one in the eighth inning, thanks to a clutch Tyler Naquin single that plated Napoli. Then in the ninth, with Joakim Soria on due to normal closer Wade Davis getting the night off, the Tribe struck quick. Carlos Santana opened the frame with a single to right, followed by a Jason Kipnis sacrifice (boooo), and then a fantastic Lindor triple tied the game at four. Then Napoli, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Cleveland, hit a fly ball plenty deep enough to score Lindor from third and to give the Indians their second straight walk-off win.
Lindor, Napoli, and Jose Ramirez each finished with two hits for the Tribe. Tommy Hunter earned his second win of the year after pitching 1 and 2/3 innings of clean baseball.
The Indians turn to Danny Salazar tomorrow night to keep the good news going, while the Royals will counter with Edinson Volquez. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM. Let's Go Tribe!