Player of the Game
There was good and bad in Trevor Bauer’s start tonight as noted below, but in general is was good enough. Bauer allowed just four hits, but walked five in 5.2 innings. He also struck out six as his breaking ball was his best friend. In the end, he didn’t allow a run although he got into trouble a few times. In his final inning, he left the game with two on and two outs and was saved by Kyle Crockett and Jason Kipnis, who made a great jumping throw to get Mike Moustakas at first and end the inning.
Trevor Bauer started things off a bit shaky, but just before things got out of control, Bauer gained his. In the first, Nori Aoki and Omar Infante singled to start the game, then Bauer walked Alex Gordon. With the bases loaded and none out, Bauer struck out three straight swinging to end the inning. During the final at bat, Raul Ibanez checked his swing and appeared to go around, but a ball was called. Indians pitching coach Mickey Calloway was ejected for arguing this call, but Bauer came back around and struck him out anyway.
Milestone Alert: With a double in the first inning, Michael Brantley grabbed his 1,000th career total base. He is just the 60th player in Indians history to do so. The team record for total bases is 3,200 by Earl Averill and at just 27 years old, Brantley could actually challenge it if he plays his whole career with the Indians. He is already under contract through 2018 (his age 31 season).
Going into the tenth, Royals pitching had retired 14 straight batters and only a Lonnie Chisenhall bloop single broke that stretch, but in the tenth, the Indians finally made a move. Jose Ramirez lead off the inning with a shot to the gap in right and turned a double into a triple when Lorenzo Cain misplayed the ball slightly. With the go ahead run on third and the infield in, Michael Brantley bounced a ball over Omar Infante’s head at second to drive home Ramirez. Brantley then stole second and went to third on a Salvador Perez error, giving the Indians the same situation again. Carlos Santana then copied Brantley, hitting a ground ball up the middle through the drawn in infield.
Trevor Bauer hasn’t had a game without a walk this season, but he set a new high with five tonight. While he was wild throughout, he was not aided by a less than partial James Hoye behind the plate. Some of this bias may have been because Royals starter James Shields is a proven veteran and Bauer a rookie, but it more likely stemmed from Bauer’s immaturity on the mound, arguing every close call and throwing a fit when he walked Raul Ibanez in the sixth.
Errors have been haunting Indians pitchers all season and this time it was the pitcher who made the error that cost the Tribe the lead. In the 8th with a runner on first and none out, Scott Atchison had a ball hit right back to him. After making a nice snag, he threw the ball low over the base at second, but Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez were confused about who was covering and neither caught the ball. With a lefty coming up, Terry Francona went to the injured Nick Hagadone (DTD: Mid back sprain), who walked the pinch hitting Erik Kratz on four pitches. C.C. Lee came in for Hagadone and induced a ground ball to short, but instead of going home for the easy out, Ramirez threw the ball to second and the Indians were unable to turn the double play on the speedy Lorenzo Cain, allowing Alex Gordon to come home with the tying run.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Kansas City Royals 2
On Deck: Kansas City and Cleveland will finish up their three game series on Sunday night, featured nationally on ESPN at 8:10 PM EDT.