Royals vs Indians: KC Falls Sort In Comeback Effort


There is no denying it. This one hurt. The Kansas City Royals (75-69) lost a tense 4-3 thriller to the Cleveland Indians (77-66) when a comeback attempt fell short in the 9th.

Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Ervin Santana succumbed to his old nemesis – the long ball – on Monday, surrendering 3 home runs on the night. They accounted for all three earned runs (1 unearned scored on a throwing error by Eric Hosmer in the third). Santana only allowed 4 hits and 0 walks in his 7 innings while striking out 7.

At the Plate

Alex Gordon hit his team leading 18th home run and drove in two, adding to his team high RBI total of 78.  Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez each added 2 hits.

The Royals had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out in the 9th when Manager Ned Yost pinch hit Carlos Pena for contact hitter Jarrod Dyson. Now Pena is a true 3-outcome hitter – strikeout, walk, home run. He is guy you put in when the score is 4-3 in the 9th with 2 outs and nobody on, when a home run is what you need. You do not put that guy in the game when you need someone to just get wood on the ball. Pena inexplicably took 7 pitches and struck out looking. Yes, some of the strikes were outside the zone but as a batter, you must protect the plate in that situation.

George Kottaras pinch hit following Pena’s disastrous at bat. He performed as a pinch hitter should, fouling of close pitch after close pitch until he walked.

Alex Gordon came to plate with the bases loaded. He fouled off one premium pitch before popping out to end the game.

This and That

There is no telling if Jarrod Dyson would have been able to get the runner home from third but his ability to make contact, to bunt if necessary, to beat out close throws, should have been a better choice than the statue formerly known as Carlos Pena. Ned Yost continues to show an incredible lack of knowledge when it comes to how to manage his personnel in game situations. This was a horrible decision and may have cost the Royals a shot at winning.

Fun with random end points – since May 9th (!), Eric Hosmer leads the majors in base hits with 135.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

We’ll go with Alex Gordon, despite his game ending, base loaded pop up.

Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians

Ubaldo Jimenez had the Royals all tied up. He allowed just one unearned run in 7 innings, scattering 7 hits with no walks, and striking out 10. The Royals didn’t seem to have a clue how to attack Jimenez at any point in the game.

Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yan Gomes each had solo home runs off Ervin Santana.

Up Next

Jeremy Guthrie (13-10, 4.49 ERA) will try to help his team bounce back against the Tribe’s Zach McAllister (7-8, 3.97 ERA). Another loss at this time might just be the final nail in the Royals dim playoff hopes.

AL Central Notes

Detroit Tigers (82-62): The Tigers continued their little September swoon with a 5-1 loss to the last place White Sox. Max Scherzer is suffering from a bit of regression, allowing 5 runs (1 unearned) on 6 hits and 2 walks over just 4 innings. Victor Martinez provided the only offense with a solo shot.

Minnesota Twins (62-80): The Twins enjoyed a 6-3 comeback against the Angels Monday night. Trevor Plouffe went 2-4 with 3 driven in. Josmil Pinto, Brian Dozier, and Ryan Doumit all had multiple hit games in the win.

Chicago White Sox (58-85): Chris Sale helped out the Indians a bit by shutting down the slumping Tigers. Sale pitched 8 strong innings, yielding just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 8.