For the first five innings of this Tuesday tilt, the Royals and Racists fought a war of attrition, with seemingly every bobble or bad read carrying the weight of the world--or at least the Royals' already slim playoff hopes--on its figurative shoulders. The dastardly Clevelanders got the ball rolling in the first inning with a two-out rally that came to fruition with a Michael Brantley single plating Carlos Santana.
For the second, third, and fourth innings, the Royals and Racists each put runners on base, with batters getting quite a bit of good wood on the ball, but starters Jeremy Guthrie and Zach McAllister navigated their respective ways through the treacherous waters they steered themselves into without causing themselves and their teams harm.
With the score 1 - 0 Cleveland in the top of the fifth, Alcides Escobar ripped a 417-foot bomb to deep left, knowing full well that doing so would surely ruin his swing for the rest of the season but sensing that seizing the momentum was more important to his team than his production at the plate after today. If anyone wants to say that Escobar is anything less than selfless, I'll fight them to the death.
Guthrie held the Racists down in the bottom of the fifth, and that is when Mike Moustakas, having been inspired by the team's joint activity in the clubhouse earlier that day (watching Dead Poets Society), took a lesson from John Keating and let forth a mighty swing of his ash club, pulling a double up the right field line whilst hollering, "Carpe diem," legging out his extra-base hit. That double plated Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler, who walked and doubled, respectively. Salvador Perez followed Moustakas with a single to shallow center, running McAllister in the process. Reliever Nick Hagadone mowed down the next three Royals he faced, but the damage was done, and the Royals sported a 4 - 1 lead.
In the seventh, a Billy Butler sacrifice fly off of C.C. Lee plated Alex Gordon, extending the Royals lead to 5 - 1, before Ned Yost turned to Kelvin Herrera, who was promptly ceded two runs before being pulled on account of a blister on one of the fingers on his right hand that at least appeared to be adversely affecting his usually electric arsenal. Thankfully Luke Hochevar was warming up, and he came in with the tying run at the plate and struck out the next five batters. It seems like this is even more obvious than an obligatory statement, but it is so strange that the sight of Luke Hochevar walking onto the field from the bullpen is as calming as it is. He. Was. Dominant.
The Royals added an insurance run, and Greg Holland played the part of Greg Holland, and the Royals evened the series with the Racists at one apiece. Tomorrow morning, the Royals have a chance to defeat Racism and draw themselves to within a half-game of Cleveland. At the time of publication, every team ahead of the Royals in the Wild Card race lost
or are losing except the Yankees, meaning the Royals currently sit three games back of the second Wild Card spot.
Where am I?