Zach McAllister had a rare bad outing and the Tribe’s offense continued to be MIA Wednesday night as the Royals breezed past Cleveland for a 5-2 victory in Kansas City. The loss was the Indians’ fifth straight, dropping them to 50-54, seven games behind the AL Central-leading White Sox.
The Royals didn’t waste any time getting the scoring started. Alcides Escobar walked and Lorenzo Cain singled to put runners at first and second with only one out. The two attempted a double steal, which worked even better than expected as Carlos Santana made a throwing error and Escobar scored. Butler brought Cain home with an RBI groundout to put Kansas City ahead 2-0.
The Royals then built on their lead in the bottom of the third. Chris Getz drew a two-out walk and stole second to set up a Jarrod Dyson RBI single. Dyson stole second on the next pitch, then came home on Alex Gordon‘s RBI double as Kansas City ran up the score to 4-0.
Cleveland finally got on the board in the fourth as Carlos Santana took Luis Mendoza deep for a controversial solo home run to right-center. But the Royals got the run back an inning later as Cain’s RBI brought Escobar home from first and made it a 5-1 game.
The Indians managed to get another run across in the bottom of the eighth as Jack Hannahan doubled and scored on Asdrubal Cabrera‘s RBI single, but that was all for the Tribe. Jose Mijares and Greg Holland shut Cleveland down from there as Kansas City held on for a 5-2 win and the Indians dropped their fifth straight contest.
The Good: Carlos Santana hit another home run—looks like he’s snapped out of his much-ballyhooed slump. And Jack Hannahan went 2-for-3 with a double.
The Bad: The Indians’ offense is still on sabbatical. The latest pitcher to stymie the Tribe’s bats is Luis Mendoza, a swingman with a 5.96 ERA who Cleveland has already seen thrice in 2012, who took a three-hitter into the eighth inning. What’s it going to take for this team to start scoring some runs?
On the other side of the ball, we saw a rare rough outing for Zach McAllister. The Royals roughed him up for five runs (four earned) on five hits, and he gave up two walks against only three strikeouts. Kansas City’s aggressiveness on the basepaths seemed to distract him.
The “Huh?”: With Travis Hafner on paternity leave someone else had to fill in at DH. Naturally the start went to Manny Acta‘s go-to bench bat Jose Lopez, who currently owns a .248/.276/.359 triple-slash (71 wRC+) against right-handed pitching. Meanwhile, Shelley Duncan—he of the .220/.310/.410 (97 wRC+) line against righties—had to ride the pine again. The combination of Acta’s zealous overrating of Lopez and the chip he seems to have on his shoulder about letting Duncan play is costing this team runs it can’t afford to lose.
Interesting Tidbit: When Acta brought Chris Perez in in the bottom of the eighth (he needed to get some work in since the Indians haven’t given him a save opportunity in almost a week), it marked just the second time in the last two seasons that Perez had entered the game before the ninth inning.