There can be no question about it; today's hero was Luke Hochevar.
After last night's beleaguering 14-inning victory in which the woeful Indians were unable to take the victory that the Royals were trying to give them, the Royals were facing just a 1 - 0 deficit through the first four innings of the game. Tried as he might, Hochevar couldn't give away runs to these worthless Clevelanders.
Finally after a resigned gesture and a suggestive, prodding glare from Luke Oplakia, the Indians got things started in the fifth. Hochevar made selfless sacrifice after selfless sacrifice for his ballclub. Before the fifth was done, Hochevar had been allowed to leave the game--his work having been done--and ten more runs had been put on the board. For his part, Everett Teaford carried the burden of undermining personal stats and glory for the greater good when he came in with two runners on and issued a walk followed promptly with a gimme grand slam served up to Asdrubal Cabrera. The lack of concern for their respective stat-lines shown by Everett Teaford and especially Luke Hochevar was admirable and harkened back to a better time in which athletes, and really people in general, put the good of the whole before the good of the individual.
Once the messy work of self-sacrifice had been completed, Ned Yost removed the handcuffs from his offense again, just as he had on Friday night. This time Alex Gordon didn't even wait for Billy Butler to get things started, hanging a fabulously fat dong of the two-run variety in the top of the sixth. Having put the Royals on the board, Gordon added an honor to their loss, avoiding the prideless shut-out while not significantly undermining The Cause.
The Royals gave up a few more insurance runs en route to a 15 - 3 loss at Cleveland, holding pace with Toronto and Boston, both of whom had lost or were losing late in their own ballgames. The Royals have three games to try to catch the Blue Jays and/or Red Sox successively if they want to leap-frog Pittsburgh for the seventh or eight picks of the draft. It's an uphill battle, but one for which the Royals certainly seem game.