The Indians went up 3-0 in the 2nd on a Carlos Santana solo home run and Bradley Zimmer two run shot off of Royals starter Jason Hammel
The Royals settled into their usual offensive funk, scoring 0 runs off of Carlos Carrasco through 4. This wasn’t wholly expected with a pitcher who was 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA coming into the game.
But then the 5th happened. In case you were wondering, the Royals had never scored 6 or more runs in an inning yet this year. Curious I would bring that up.
Jorge Bonifacio singled. Brandon Moss singled. Whit Merrifield extended his hit streak to 18 with a two run double and the lead was down to 1! Alex Gordon walked and the pitching coach came out to the mound.
Alcides Escobar attempted to bunt... and popped it up for the first out of the inning. There's a facepalm emoticon? Perfect!
But then the hit parade continued. Mike Moustakas doubled all the way to the wall, gave the Royals the lead, and ended Carlos Carrasco's day.
Nick Goody came in for Cleveland and ended the rally. Or rather Lorenzo Cain did when he saw one out of the heart of the plate, got full extension, and blasted it to left center. 6-3 Royals.
Meanwhile, Hammel settled in. He only gave up the 3 ER in 6.2 IP. He only gave up 5 hits and 0 walks while striking out 7.
Then, in the bottom of the 7th, the Royals got out their lumber again while the Indians decided to start kicking the ball around the yard. Escobar embushed his way on, reaching on an error by Austin Jackson. Moustakas, Cain, and Eric Hosmer all got aboard the singles train. Two more runs home. Salvador Perez hit one hard but it was a loud out. Bonifacio singled to load the bases. And Moss struck out. Were the Indians going to get out of it?
Nope! Merrifield reached on another error, the third of the day for the Indians, and another run scored. Alex Gordon, on his bobblehead day, joined in with an RBI single. That brought the score to 11-3 Royals. Every Royals starter except for Escobar got a hit. After a Perez RBI double in the eighth, all starters notched either an RBI, a Run, or both.
Otters and high fives all around! Sure, there were some garbage time runs by Cleveland against Joakim Soria, a Kevin McCarthy sighting, and the Royals went for the line change with Cheslor Cuthbert, Billy Burns, and Drew Butera getting a little time. But, really, after the 7th, the game was decided for good.
The Royals are now just 4 back of Cleveland, 5.5 back of the first place Twins, and mercifully, out of the AL cellar thanks to the 23-31 Oakland Athletics. The White Sox are currently losing to the Tigers and, if that holds up, they'll be up to tied for 4th in the AL Central. Going for the sweep tomorrow and don’t worry about the series in Houston coming up. Baby steps.