Player of the Game
Michael Bourn got started late, but eventually provided the bulk of the Indians offense. His RBI triple in the seventh got the Indians to within a run of the Royals before he scored the tying run himself on a Nick Swisher sacrifice fly. Bourn added another in the ninth with his sixth home run of the season as he won his sixth Player of the Game of the season.
The Indians got to see the debut of Kansas City flamethrower Yordano Ventura. Not only is he the only player in American baseball history to be named Yordano, but also has the ability to throw 100 MPH at will. He is a product of the Royals Dominican Summer League team and spent most of the season in AAA this year with a 3.74 ERA and 81 strike outs in 77 innings.
The Indians were able to get to the fantastic Royals bullpen tonight just enough to take the lead late in the game. The Indians scored twice in the seventh, courtesy of a Bourn triple and a Swisher sacrifice fly, then added another in the eighth to take the lead. Bourn then provided some insurance in the ninth with a solo home run to take the lead to 5-3.
The Indians bullpen was terrific tonight, from Rich Hill through Chris Perez. In all, the relief corps threw 4.1 innings of shut out baseball, giving up just three singles and no walks. For their effort, Cody Allen earned the win (for being lucky in that the inning he pitched was the one the Indians took the lead), Joe Smith earned his 24th hold and Chris Perez took his 25th save. Pure Rage really put a stamp on the end with a perfect ninth including two strike outs.
Scoreboard Watch: The Rays-Rangers series is progressing perfectly as far as the Indians evil plan to take over first in the Wild Card is concerned. Today, the Rangers tied the series with a 7-1 win and while it may keep the Indians out of the second Wild Card spot a little longer, it is better to have the first spot when the season ends than the second spot with ten games left. In the other contenders games the Yankees lost to Toronto and Baltimore beat Boston.
After walking just two batters in his first two games back from the DL, Corey Kluber looked like a totally different pitcher tonight against KC. He walked three in the first three innings, leading to an early three run lead for the Royals. Kluber also allowed more doubles than in his last four games combined in what was a very sloppy start for one of the Indians top pitchers. He ended up throwing just 4.2 innings as Terry Francona went to the match-up game very early on.
The Indians continued their run of failures against starters they haven't faced before as they accomplished nothing offensively against Ventura. He started the game off a little wild, walking two, but only gave up two hits while throwing five shut out innings. In the sixth, the Indians finally got to him with three hits and their first run of the game.
Play of the Game: Cleveland Indians 5 – Kansas City Royals 3