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Kluber does his thing, Royals lose rubber match 3-1

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This happens sometimes.

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians
Starting pitcher Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Progressive Field on September 5, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

There are times when your sports team loses and you just shrug it off because there’s no shame involved. Today was one of those times for the Kansas City Royals. Cleveland Indians starting pitcher and reigning Cy Young winner, Corey Kluber, simply dominated the Royals this afternoon. Kluber is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the only thing standing between him and a Hall of Fame track is his relatively late start in the big leagues. The Royals lost 3-1, a loss without shame to one of the masters of his craft.

Kluber’s dominance only hit one snag throughout his 6.2 innings of work. With one out in the fourth inning, lefty Alex Gordon cracked an opposite-field double. And with two outs, lefty Ryan O’Hearn mashed a ball to left-center field. Cleveland center fielder Greg Allen attempted to dive for the ball, and his miss allowed O’Hearn to turn what would have been a double into a triple.

It is notable that lefties Gordon and O’Hearn got on base, because the right-handed Kluber dominated the righties in the Kansas City lineup. Not a single right-handed Royal reached base against Kluber. By the end of his outing, Kluber had struck out ten Royals, walked none, and only allowed the two fourth inning hits by Gordon and O’Hearn.

Against such stiff competition, rookie Brad Keller stood tall for Kansas City. Keller was not as spotless as Kluber, as he allowed ten hits, but he was still pretty good. Only two of those hits went for extra bases, and Keller only walked one batter through his seven innings of work while striking out five. In fact, Ned Yost sent Keller out for the eighth inning as well, but after Yonder Alonso singled to lead off the inning and Hunter Dozier made a throwing error to allow Brandon Guyer to also get on base, Keller’s night was done. Brian Flynn did good work to contain the damage, getting three quick outs, but a sac fly plated Alonso to extend the Indians Racists lead 3-1.

To be fair to Cleveland pitching, it was not only Kluber who clobbered Kansas City. Oliver Perez, Greg Allen, and Brad Hand combined for 2.1 perfect innings to close out the game. Kansas City batters struck out 16 times to one walk, which is bad, but when facing good pitching sometimes that happens.

With today’s loss, the Royals’ record falls to 46-93. Tomorrow, the Royals will enjoy an off day. They will then continue their road trip with a three-game set against the Minnesota Twins. Kansas City’s next 19 games are all against opponents with losing records, so if they are interested in avoiding a 100-loss season, they’ll need to make some headway sooner rather than later.