Through the middle of the second inning it looked like this game might be 2 hours or 18 innings. Or both. (h/t HalsHatsCrooked) Danny Duffy faced the minimum on only 19 pitches. Josh Tomlin countered by pitching 3 innings on only 30 pitches. Unfortunately, it was too good to last.
In the third Danny started off allowing an innocuous single to Austin Jackson, then a questionable walk on a 3-2 check swing pitch to Roberto Perez. Cleveland shortstop Erik Gonzalez sacrificed the runners over and then Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley singled the runners home to give the Cleveland baseball team a 2-run lead.
In the bottom of the fourth after the Royals allowed Tomlin another quick inning including a line-drive double play off the bat of Eric Hosmer, Duffy got himself into more trouble and allowed Austin Jackson to double in Jose Ramirez. He fiddled around walking a couple more batters before finally escaping the inning, but his previously sterling pitch count was shot all to pieces.
In the realm of good news, Jorge Bonifacio absolutely launched a hanging curve ball out of the park for his seventh home run on the seasons - more than Hosmer, Gordon, and Soler combined - after a questionable check-swing strike to put the Royals on the board.
Duffy did even more damage to himself in the bottom of the fifth, without much assistance from Cleveland, even. A slow roller by Brantley to Hosmer turned into a single when Duffy was late and awkward getting to first base. Brantley then stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. With the infield drawn in Carlos Santana picked up his first hit of the series and an RBI on a pop-fly into shallow center that the drawn-in infield could not reach to drive in another run. Danny gave up a single to Edwin Encarnacion and that ended his day.
Seth Maness came on to attempt to induce a groundball double play, but they only recorded one out on his ground ball which meant Austin Jackson’s deep flyball drove in another run. Then Cleveland’s Perez dumped another pop fly RBI single into right field to finish Duffy’s line at 6 runs allowed in only 4+ innings. Not his finest performance.
Miguel Almonte finally made his season debut! It did not go well. He allowed another 3 runs. Travis Wood comes in to pitch the seventh and, stop me if you’ve heard this before, gave up a home run. To a lefty. Jason Kipnis, to be exact. He did pitch a scoreless eighth inning. So...Hooray?
For his part, Tomlin never really got in trouble outside the Bonifacio dinger. He finished off his fifth complete game in his career, three of which have come against the Royals.
If you’re looking for good news, Whit Merrifield got a single to extend his MLB-leading 13-game hitting streak. The Royals will face the Ian Kinsler-less Detroit Tigers in a 3-game set starting tomorrow night. Don’t forget that game will start an hour earlier than normal because of the holiday.