Player of the Game
Michael Bourn knocked in the Indians second and final run in the third inning with a sacrifice fly, then later singled and stole second, giving the Indians their final opportunity to score in the game. With little going offensively and nothing good happening at all defensively, there was little positive to mention from this loss.
Justin Masterson will throw a bullpen session on Friday after throwing long toss today with no pain. If all goes well there, it is possible he could pitch one start during the regular season in preparation for the possible post-season. Assuming they earn a Wild Card spot, Ubaldo Jimenez would still be the most likely pitcher in the one game play-off.
No pitcher can be perfect from the start of his career to the end, so it shouldn't be too surprising that Danny Salazar had his worst game of his young career tonight. He allowed his second most hits ever (six) and struck out just three after striking out 17 in his last two games. In addition to the hits, he threw two wild pitches, one of which lead to a run. It still wasn't that bad of a game for the rookie as he pitched through the sixth inning for just the fourth time this year.
Yan Gomes certainly didn't help out his pitcher tonight as he had his worst game defensively of the year. In addition to the wild pitches he let go by, Gomes allowed a double steal of second and home that allowed the fourth Royals run. While his throw to second was good and would have caught the runner, he was unable to tag out Alcides Escobar when he came home. A lapse in concentration allowed Escobar to duck under the tag and score despite the fact that he should have been out by a considerable distance.
The rest of the defense wasn't much better than Gomes, either. Asdrubal Cabrera spiked a throw into the ground in front of Gomes that turned an outfield assist into a run, Mike Aviles and Jason Kipnis each missed plays in the seventh and Ryan Raburn dropped a routine fly in the eighth. Overall it was one of the sloppier games of the season defensively and the Indians were lucky that the Royals didn't take more advantage from that than they did.
The Indians had a great scoring opportunity in the sixth when Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher each reached base to start the inning. Jason Kipnis did his job as the best hitter on the team and bunted them over, only for Carlos Santana to easily ground out on the first pitch he saw and Ryan Raburn to fly out to end the inning.
Scoreboard Watch: The Yankees refused to die quietly tonight, beating the Blue Jays to maintain their position in the race. The Royals also managed to stick around a little while longer with their series win over the Indians.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Kansas City Royals 7