Player of the Game
Asdrubal Cabrera knocked in two runs with a single in the fourth inning to give the Tribe a four run lead and later scored the go ahead run in the seventh after walking. For this, he wins his first Player of the Game since May 25th and his fifth overall on the year. His 3.33 POG score just beat out both Jason Giambi and Carlos Santana who also knocked in runs.
Milestone Update: Jason Kipnis hit a single in his first at bat to bring his hitting streak to 13 games and his on base streak to 33.
Carlos Santana had a great game tonight, despite going hitless. He "knocked in" the first run of the game with a bases loaded walk, then walked two more times in his next two at bats. In his fourth at bat he hit a fly ball to deep centerfield with the bases loaded to knock in his second run of the night, giving the Indians the lead for the second time in the game.
Milestone Alert: With his three walks tonight, Santana now has 49 on the season and 274 bases on balls in his career. This is good for 50th all time, just passing old-time short stop George Strickland. What makes this an impressive milestone, is that he reached this point in less games than any player ahead of him. The closest player nearby is David Justice, who walked 288 times in 486 games. Santana has played just 421 games. The next 26 players behind Santana in career walks have all played more games as well. His 0.65 BB/G are second most in Indians history (min. 162 GP) behind only Jim Thome.
Royals pitching was very wild tonight and the Tribe took advantage, walking eight times with each pitcher allowing at least one walk. Left handed match-up man, Tim Collins, was particularly disappointing for Kansas City as he allowed walks to each of the two batters he faced. Both runners then came around to score.
The Indians haven't had much of a chance to use their bullpen the way they want to this year, but things worked out well tonight with Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano picking up holds. It was Pestano's first hold since April 22nd at which point he had holds in four of the teams first 18 games. Smith and Pestano haven't picked up holds on the same night since April 21st.
Luis Mendoza was off balanced in the first inning, but the Indians let him off the hook for what could have been a huge inning. Michael Brantley lead off the inning with a walk and two singles followed. Mendoza then walked in a run and hit Mark Reynolds to drive in another run. Jason Giambi then blew the golden opportunity by swinging at a bad pitch and grounding into a double play. The bases were loaded with a 2-0 count and the pitch he swung at would almost certainly going to be ball three. This was not the type of at bat you would expect from a man who has over 1,400 RBI.
Corey Kluber was pitching beautifully through the fourth inning, but hit a snag in the fifth and made matters worse for himself before they got better. The Royals got two lucky broken bat singles to start off the inning and this must have bothered Kluber, who walked the bases loaded. Alex Gordon then crushed a ball into the bullpen for a grand slam that tied the game at four.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 – Kansas City Royals 5