A proven winning script in major league baseball is for a teams starting pitcher to deliver a quality start, the offense to score 4 or more runs, and to hold a lead after 8 innings. In the American League in 2012 (entering Friday) a team whose starter delivered a quality start had a winning percentage of .638 (763 – 354), teams that scored 4 or more runs had a winning percentage of .746 (906 -305), and teams holding a lead after 8 innings had a winning percentage of .954 (946-46).
In Sandy Alomar Jr.’s debut the Indians followed that winning script in defeating the Kansas City Royals 8-5 earning his first big league victory. David Huff delivered a quality start, the offense delivered 16 hits in scoring 8 runs, and Chris Perez shut the door in the ninth to seal the victory. With the victory the Indians record stands at 66-91, Huff improved his record to 3-0, and Perez earned his 39th save.
David Huff started for the Indians allowing 3R/ER on 8 hits while striking out 5 and walking 0 in 6 innings of work. He appeared shaky early, allowing 5 hits in the first 1.1innings of work, before settling down and retiring the next 9 Royals in a row. Alomar made his first pitching change as the Tribe’s skipper electing to remove Huff after the sixth inning and replaced him with Cody Allen who worked a scoreless 7th. Scott Maine came in to work the 8th inning was touched up for 2 runs on 3 consecutive hits before being replaced by Joe Smith who escaped further damage by retiring the next 3 Royals he faced. Smith gave way to Chris Perez who worked a perfect ninth to earn his 39th save on the year.
Will Smith started for the Royals and was knocked around by the Indians who battered him for 6R/ER on 9 hits striking out 2 and walking 2. He was replaced by Everett Teaford who did not fare much better in his 3 innings of work giving up 2R/ER on 6 hits while striking out 1 and walking 0. Vin Mazzaro (1.1 innings) and Greg Holland (0.2 innings) combined to work 2 scoreless innings. The loss goes to Will Smith whose record drops to 6-9 and the Royals see their record drop to 70-87.
The Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Salvador Perez led off with a single, advanced to second on a one-out single by Mike Moustakas, and came around to score on a RBI double off the bat of Adam Moore.
The Indians came storming back to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second thanks to 5 straight hits. Lonnie
Chisenhall started the rally with a 1-out opposite field single, advanced to third on a Brent Lillibridge single, and came around to score the Indians first run on a Ezequiel Carrera single. The Indians took a 2-1 lead as Brent Lillibridge came in to score on a Shin-Soo Choo double off the wall in left and Carrera scored on a seeing eye single past a drawn in infield off the bat of Cord Phelps that gave the Tribe a 3-1 lead.
The fun continued for the Indians in the fifth as they extended their lead to 6-1 after Ezequiel Carrera lead off the inning with a single and scored all the way from first base on a Shin-Soo Choo double off the wall in left to put the Tribe up 5-1. Will Smith‘s night was over and Everett Teaford came and gave up a single to Cord Phelps which moved Choo to third and he came in to score on a fielders choice off the bat of Jason Kipnis.
The Indians scored 2 more runs in the 8th inning and extend their lead to 8-1. Lonnie Chisenhall led off the inning with his 3rd hit and advanced to second when Everett Teaford hit Brent Lillibridge with a pitch. Ezequiel Carrera laid down a bunt but Teaford fell as he came off the mound to field the ball and everyone was safe. He got Shin Soo-Choo to ground the ball to Johnny Giavotella who threw home to force out Lonnie Chisenhall and for the first out and then Giovotella snared a line drive off the bat of Cord Phelps for the second out but was unable to escape further damage as Jason Kipnis delivered a 2-out 2 RBI single to scoring Brent Lillibridge and Ezequiel Carrera.
The Royals rallied to chop the Indians lead to 8-5 in the 8th inning.. Alex Gordon led off with a single and advanced to third on a Billy Butler double and both came in to score on a Salvador Perez single which knocked Scott Maine out of the game before he could retire a batter. Joe Smith replaced Maine and his first pitch was ruled a passed ball and Perez advanced to second.
- Sandy Alomar Jr. earns a victory in his managerial debut with the Indians.
- David Huff was shaky in the first inning plus but settled down to work a solid 6 innings. The only “mistake” he made was on an inside fastball to Billy Butler who drove it out for a 2-run homer. The word mistake is in quotes because it wasn’t that bad of a pitch.
- Lonnie Chisenhall, Cord Phelps, and Ezequiel Carrera all had three hits. The bottom third of the Tribe’s order (Chisenhall, Lilliquist, Carrera) combined to go 8 for 12 with 6 runs scored and 2 RBI’s.