Indians improve to 30-24
When you wake up tomorrow morning, you may have a slight skip in your step because the Cleveland Indians, with their third straight victory over the Kansas City Royals, have taken over first place in the AL Central again. Much like Friday night's game, the Tribe was firing on all cylinders, getting solid offense, incredible defense, and dominant pitching to take game 3 from the Royals by a score of 7-1.
For the first five and a half innings, however, it seemed like tonight's game would be decided by razor-thin margins as both starting pitchers were efficient and able to keep runs off the board. The only run that would score in the first five innings would come off of the bat of Chris Gimenez, who hit a sacrifice fly to right-center field to score Chisenhall. After that, it seemed like it would be a race to see which pitcher would crack first, Kennedy or Tomlin; luckily for Tribe fans, Kennedy melted down in the sixth.
The festivities began when Napoli launched a home run well over the wall in left to increase the Tribe's lead to 2-0. But that wasn't all the Tribe would do in the inning; with two outs in the inning, Lonnie Chisenhall, who went 2-for-4 on the evening, laced a bullet down the right field line to extend the inning. Rajai Davis, who went 3-for-4 on the night, picked up an RBI single when he hit a line drive to right field. Chisenhall was nearly thrown out at the plate by Paulo Orlando, but a nice headfirst slide from Chisenhall added another run for the Indians. And finally, to cap off the pivotal sixth inning, Tyler Naquin, who hit his first major league home run just last night, launched a bomb to right center field to put Cleveland up 5-0, essentially ending the game.
The reason that the five run lead was insurmountable for the Royals was because Josh Tomlin, once again, looked like his dominant self. Over 6.1 innings, Tomlin allowed just one run (on the bloopiest of bloop singles, mind you) on seven hits and one walk. Tomlin also notched four strikeouts, and his velocity ticked upwards of 94 MPH on a couple of pitches early on in the game. Tomlin had all of his pitches working tonight, including a devastating breaking ball that made a lot of Royals hitters either look silly or pop up lazily to the infield/shallow outfield. Tomlin left in the top of the seventh to a standing ovation of over 23,000 people, and his bullpen (Manship and Otero) came in and shut the door, allowing no hits over 2.2 innings.
Tidbits from tonight's game
- With tonight's victory, the Cleveland Indians are a season high 6 games over the .500 mark.
- Both teams wore 1976 throwback uniforms for tonight's game; the Indians uniforms looked sharp and should be brought back post-haste.
- After tonight's game, Jeff Manship, on the season, has inherited 13 base runners. Only 1 of them has come around to score.
- Four members of the Tribe (Lindor, Chisenhall, Davis, and Naquin) had at least two hits on the evening, with Lindor and Davis having three.
- Speaking of Lindor, he continued to do Lindor-y things by getting two doubles and a late inning shot over the wall in left for a two-run home run. Per Statcast, Lindor's home run had an exit velocity of 97 MPH and an estimated distance of 359 ft.