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Royals' offense Klubered in 4-1 loss to Indians

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David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals offense looked overmatched against Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber, only mustering four hits in the team's 4-1 defeat on Sunday.

Kluber has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, and Ned Yost sent out a lineup that included Raul Ibanez in left field and Danny Valencia (against a righty) at DH, so the team's difficulty to score was hardly surprising. It was still depressing to see Kluber strike out ten Royals hitters over 8 1/3 innings while only needing 109 pitches to record 25 outs.

Two of the Royals hits against Kluber were infield singles, one by Jarrod Dyson and one by Lorenzo Cain. Eric Hosmer hit a double to lead off the ninth, which was nice. Mike Moustakas collected the only other Kansas City hit, providing the team's only run with a solo shot in the top of the fifth. Kluber left a sinker over the plate and Moose turned on the pitch, blasting the ball well over the right field wall.

Cleveland scored three of their four runs in the second inning. Carlos Santana started the scoring with a solo homer to leadoff the inning, lifting a Danny Duffy changeup that caught too much of the zone just over the right field wall. Ryan Raburn followed with a single, and Yan Gomes plated him with a two-run bomb to centerfield, teeing off on a fastball located right over the middle of plate.

The Indians scored their final run in the fifth inning thanks to consecutive singles by Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley. Kipnis' single could have easily been ruled an error on Hosmer; the first baseman got his glove on the ball but couldn't handle it, allowing Kipnis to reach base safely.

Duffy ended up throwing six innings, allowing all four runs on ten hits. The southpaw did strike out six and walked none, which is an encouraging sign, but still threw far too many hittable pitches. Scott Downs and Bruce Chen each tossed a scoreless inning of relief, while Cody Allen came in for Cleveland to record the final two outs of the game.

The Royals sit at 45-42 on the year, two games ahead of the Indians for second place in the AL Central. The team will travel to Tropicana Field on Monday to start a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. James Shields will start against his former team, facing off against Jake Odorizzi to decide once and for all which team won the trade.