Player of the Game
Jason Kipnis continually proves to be the spark plug for the Indians offense and today he came through in every possible way. He knocked in the first run in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, then later knocked in another with a single. He ended the day with a double in the eighth inning. He also walked twice during the game, allowing him to reach base safely in his final four at bats. His POG score of 4.74 helped him to win his team leading 11th award on the season.
C.C. Lee finally made his Major League debut today after being set back almost a year by elbow surgery. He looked good, if a little wild, as he threw 1.1 innings, giving up a walk and a hit batter, but allowing no runs. He came into the game in the fifth with no outs after Ubaldo Jimenez had allowed a single and successfully navigated that inning without allowing the inherited runner to score.
Tim Collins Report: The Indians continue to mystify the Royals left handed reliever as across three straight appearances six consecutive batters reached base without Collins recording an out. He finally did get an out today, when Michael Bourn sacrifice bunted to move Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs to second and third. Bourn bunting against a pitcher who had allowed six straight base runners to reach is almost as confusing as the Royals using him during a close game, but Asdrubal Cabrera made up for the bunt with a two run double two pitches later.
The Indians ended the first half of the season on a great note, with great offensive performances by their top players and a strong bullpen leading to a sweep of the Royals. Today, Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis reached base four times each while Cabrera reached three times. The trio combined for five RBI and two runs scored.
After a slow start to the season, Chris Perez has really turned things up since recovering from his shoulder issues. He now has seven saves in seven opportunities, including saves in his four (and the team's six) last games. The bullpen in general has seemed to turned things around as of late with every reliever (except Matt Albers, who gave up one run and Cody Allen, who didn't pitch) throwing a scoreless outing within the last two games.
Ubaldo Jimenez was not terrible today, but was very hittable as he gave up seven hits (all singles) to Royals hitters in his final start before the All-Star break. Two of the hits were on grounders in the infield that should have been outs, but hustle plays running to first beat them out. Despite the eight hits (plus two walks) in just four innings, Jimenez gave up just four runs.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 – Kansas City Royals 4