Player of the Game
It was a battle of the bats in today’s “Player of the Game” race. Shelley Duncan came out on top today to win his first PoG award of the year. Duncan’s score of 7.50 included a three-run homer in the 2nd inning and 3 walks. Casey Kotchman came in second with a score of 6.95, which also included a home run, in addition to 2 singles, a walk, and a stolen base.
After giving up 3 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, the Indians hitters retaliated with 6 runs of their own. Michael Brantley reached on an infield single and advanced to third on an Asdrubal Cabrera single to right field. Shin-Soo Choo then hit a double in the gap, scoring both Brantley and Cabrera. After falling behind in the count, Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza intentionally walked Travis Hafner, setting up a 3-run shot over the left field wall by Shelley Duncan. Mendoza then walked the next two batters, Casey Kotchman and Jason Kipnis. Kotchman scored on a single hit by Jack Hannahan. This is the third time in 3 games that the Indians have batted around in an inning and scored at least 5 runs in the inning in which they batted around.
Casey Kotchman shows off his speed and great base running skills by stealing his second base of the year and scoring from second on a short single to left field. Kotchman’s second stolen base ties the amount of steals he recorded all last season.
Pronk is back! Travis Hafner blasted a solo shot into the restaurant in right field at Kauffman Stadium, over all of the right field seating. Kansas City announcers said that might be the furthest ball hit to right field in that ballpark. At 456 feet, that was the 10th longest home run in Kauffman Stadium history and the first one to land in Rivals Sports Bar. The Indians continued to hit in the 5th inning. They sent 9 batters to the plate and added 4 more runs, including Hafner’s home run.
Casey Kotchman and Jason Kipnis went back-to-back in the 8th inning. After two outs were recorded, Shelley Duncan walk and scored on Kotchman’s homer. Kipnis then decided to join the hitting parade and hit a home run of his own.
The Indians wore out the Kansas City bullpen so much this series that in the 9th inning, they brought in center fielder, Mitch Meier, to pitch.
After entering the series with a 1-4 record, the Cleveland Indians completed a sweep of the Kansas City Royals, and are now back to a .500 winning percentage.
Ubalbo Jimenez had a rough start to today’s game. After over thirty pitches the first inning, which fortunately did not lead to any runs, Jimenez threw almost as many pitches in the second, giving up a total of 5 hits and 3 runs over the two innings. By the end of the third, his pitch count was at 78 pitches. Jimenez was taken out after 5 innings and 111 pitches, but remained in the game just long enough to get the win.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 13 – Kansas City Royals 7