Royals vs Indians: Salvador Perez Helps Keep Slim Hopes Alive


The Kansas City Royals (80-72) are still alive, if just barely, in the wild American League wild card race after a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians (82-70). Things could not be playing out better for Bud Selig’s grand plan to generate more excitement in more cities. The Royals are just one of 6 teams within 2.5 of earning a wild berth in the AL.

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

On the Mound

Bruce Chen may not have the best stuff in the world but he is unflappable on the mound. After the Royals blew a game on Tuesday night, they needed someone calm Wednesday night. Chen allowed two runs on just 4 hits and a walk over 5 innings., turning over a 2-run lead to the bullpen.

This night, the bullpen held. Five relievers combined for 4 innings of scoreless, 1-hit ball, with Greg Holland finishing in a non save situation.

At the Plate

Four Royals produced 2 hits in on the night, including Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, and Alcides Escobar. No hit was bigger though, than Salvador Perez‘s 2-out, 2-RBI double in the first to gets the Royals out to a quick lead. He added to that lead when he scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. Perez continues to be a team leader, at the plate, and behind it. He has to be considering a strong candidate for team MVP.

One of the more exciting plays you will ever see in baseball game unfolded in the bottom of the fifth. With Escobar on third, Alex Gordon tried to steal second, or maybe it was a missed hit-and-run signal by Emilio Bonifacio. Indians’ catcher Yan Gomes threw down to second way ahead of Gordon, who slammed on the brakes, getting caught in a rundown. After a couple of throws, the Indians threw behind Escobar at third, who broke for home. The ball was relayed to home, and Escobar stopped. As Gomes approached to make the tag, Escobar dropped to the ground and lunged around Gomes and the tag. This happened 10 feet up the third base line! Escobar scrambled for the plate, diving in safe!

This and That

It is basically to the point where the Royals can’t lose more than one game out of their last 10, and none to the Rangers this weekend. They have to win, and they need a lot of help in that at least four other teams have to play poorly down the stretch. Just to give you an example. If the Royals win 8 or their last 10 games, the Indians would have to go 5-5 for the Royals to beat them out. And that is just one of the teams. It is still possible, but it will take a huge favor from the Baseball Gods, maybe as a reward for nearly three decades of suffering, for the Royals to make the post season.

Officially, it was a double steal by Gordon and Escobar.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Let’s go with Salvador Perez for his big, early, 2-RBI double. It showed that the Royals were ready and were not going to let the failure Tuesday crush their spirit. Honorable mention to Escobar for finding a way to score in an impossible situation.

Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  • James Shields – 14
  • Alex Gordon – 17
  • Wade Davis – 5
  • Lorenzo Cain – 8
  • Luis Mendoza – 3
  • Billy Butler – 12
  • Ervin Santana – 11
  • Miguel Tejada – 5
  • Jeremy Guthrie -6
  • Eric Hosmer – 14
  • Chris Getz – 3
  • Mike Moustakas – 7
  • Aaron Crow
  • Jarrod Dyson

    – 3

    Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

  • David Lough – 8
  • Alcides Escobar – 6
  • J.C. Gutierrez
  • Jeff Francoeur
  • Bruce Chen – 5
  • Salvador Perez – 12
  • Will Smith – 2
  • George Kottaras
  • Louis Coleman – 2
  • Bruce Chen – 2
  • Justin Maxwell – 2
  • Greg Holland -2
  • Danny Duffy – 2
  • Luke Hochevar – 2
  • Yordano Ventura
  • The Indians

    Cleveland is still only half a game out and they finish the season with 10 games against the worst three teams in the American League – Houston, Chicago, and Minnesota. It would be very surprising if they falter down the stretch and don’t claim one of the two wild card berths.

    Up Next

    Kansas City is off today, then start an all important three game series against the Rangers on Friday. Ervin Santana (9-9, 3.23 ERA) will take the mound for Kansas City, Martin Perez (9-5, 3.64 ERA) will go for the Rangers

    AL Central Notes

    Detroit Tigers (88-64): The Tigers had one of their worst games of the year, getting shutout 8-0 by the Mariners. Justin Verlander allowed 3 runs over 7 innings, then the bullpen surrendered 5 runs in the last 2 frames.

    Minnesota Twins (65-86): Glen Perkins nailed down his 36th save on the season in a 4-3 win over the White Sox.

    Chicago White Sox (60-92): Alejandro De Aza hit his 16th home run of the season in a 4-3 loss to the Twins. John Danks gave up all 4 runs in 7 innings of work.


    1. TAMPA BAY RAYS (83-68, 0 GB)
    2. TEXAS RANGERS (82-69, 0 GB)
    3. CLEVELAND INDIANS (82-70, .5 GB)
    4. BALTIMORE ORIOLES (81-70, 1 GB)
    5. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (82-70, 2.5 GB)
    6. NEW YORK YANKEES (82-70, 2.5 GB)