Solid Start by McAllister, Home Runs by Brantley and Kipnis lead Indians to Victory
The Indians haven’t hit very many home runs so far in 2014, but when they have gone deep they’ve made them count. Monday night was no different as the Indians used the long ball to defeat the upstart Kansas City Royals by a score of 4-3.
Also helping lead the way for the Indians was starting pitcher Zach McAllister. In six innings of work, McAllister allowed just three runs to cross the plate on six hits and a walk. He also struck out two on the way to his third victory of the season. The start continued McAllister’s hot streak to begin the 2014 season. After a rough first start in Oakland, McAllister has now made three phenomenal starts in a row, earning victories in each and working his way into the later innings.
Also worth mentioning from last night’s game were the changes made to the Indians’ lineup. Jason Giambi, recently activated from the disabled list made the start at DH and batted seventh. He took the place of Blake Wood on the 25-man roster. The other and more interesting move was the insertion of Lonnie Chisenhall into the cleanup spot in order to give Carlos Santana a much-needed night off. All Chisenhall did was reward Terry Francona by going 2 for 4 with his sixth double of the season. He is now batting .455/.486/.636 on the year.
Oh, and a squirrel got loose on the field. If that wasn’t a sign of all the good things to come, I don’t know what is.
The Indians started the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning. With Jason Kipnis already aboard, Michael Brantley smacked a home run into the seats in right field. The home run, Brantley’s fourth on the season, put the Indians up 2-0 against former Indian Jeremy Guthrie.
The Royals responded in the following inning. Alcides Escobar, who has been red-hot to start the year, doubled home Mike Moustakas. He then scored on a throwing error by Zach McAllister on a sacrifice bunt by Jarrod Dyson. Dyson scored two batters later on a single by former Tiger Omar Infante. By the time the inning was over, the Indians trailed 3-2 it was looking like more of what we had seen over the weekend against the Blue Jays.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Indians made their comeback, this time thanks to the bat of Jason Kipnis. Following a lead-off double by Nick Swisher, Kipnis belted a two-run home run to right center to give the Tribe a 4-3 lead. The Indians even threatened to score following the home run, by a spectacular defensive play by Alcides Escobar on a foul ball by Jason Giambi ended the inning without any more damage being done.
From that point, the Indians bullpen took the keys from Zach McAllister and brought it home. Marc Rzepczynski, Cody Allen and John Axford combined to throw three shutout innings to seal the victory. For Axford, the save was his seventh on the season.
The Indians and ROyals will continue their series tonight when Danny Salazar takes the mound against James Shields. FIrst pitch is scheduled for 7:05 at Progressive Field. Head over to ScoreBig for great Cleveland Indians seats.