They did it! They beat Cleveland! That’s something no MLB team has done since August 23!
The Royals took down the Indians, 4-3, on Friday night to end Cleveland’s 22-game winning streak. That was the longest in AL history.
Of course this is the team that snaps it.
Edwin Encarnacion opened the scoring with a first-inning sacrifice fly. The Royals got the run back in the next inning when Alcides Escobar clubbed a homer, his fifth, to left field. It was 1-1 through two innings.
Cleveland pulled back ahead in the third inning on a two-run homer by Jose Ramirez. As much as we discredit Cleveland’s fans for never showing up unless their team is on a 22-game winning streak (which is very true), the atmosphere at Progressive Field was electric. Their fans were completely, totally into this game. The building had to have been shaking when Ramirez hit that homer.
But then, the Royals went on a slow-and-steady streak to eventually take a lead. Brandon Moss hit his 22nd homer of the year in the fourth inning to make it 3-2. In the fifth, Eric Hosmer ripped an RBI single to tie the game. It was his 87th RBI of the year, pushing his average to .325. He has had an incredible year.
In the sixth the Royals pulled ahead on a two-out RBI single by Lorenzo Cain. 4-3, KC.
Jason Vargas got his team through five innings with a lead, putting him in line for his 16th win of the year. He gave up three runs in 5.0 innings, which raised his ERA to 4.19. It was barely over 2.00 just a couple of months ago. He struck out four and walked three.
The Royals used Ryan Buchter, Trevor Cahill, and Mike Minor to get the final nine outs. Amazingly, they held. I’m just as surprised as you are.
Vargas won his 16th game, which moves him into a five-way tie atop the American League. He is 16-10. Trevor Bauer took the L, his first since July, to drop him to 16-9. Minor got the save; his first.
The Royals are 73-74. Mike Moustakas, again, did not hit a home run. He’s down to 15 more games to get that record. For the first time in a long time, I’m very nervous about this.
Tomorrow: Jason Hammel against Carlos Carrasco. Yuck. First pitch is at 3:10 pm CDT.