The Cleveland Indians scored early against KC Royals starter Jeff Francis on Sunday afternoon. After two innings, the Indians led 4-0. He lasted just five innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. Francis also walked three.
Then things fell apart for the Royals once the bullpen entered. Lefty Tim Collins couldn’t throw strikes and walked two (he threw just nine of his 20 pitches for strikes while getting one out). Jesse Chavez entered with one out and two runners on base in the 6th inning. He got Carlos Santana to ground out, but allowed a Shelley Duncan three-run homerun.
The Royals chased Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez in the 6th inning. He left with the bases loaded and one out. Lefty Rafael Perez entered and induced an inning-ending double play from Brayan Pena.
In the 7th inning, the Royals put together three hits around an out to score a run. Chad Durbin entered and walked Billy Butler on four pitches to load the bases. Lefty Tony Sipp entered and got Eric Hosmer to ground into a force out (the throw came home). Sipp then walked Johnny Giavotella to force in a run and cut the Indians lead to 7-3.
The Indians got the two runs right back in the top of the 8th inning. Duncan struck again against Chavez with two outs when he hit a two-run homerun.
The Royals made it interesting in the bottom of the 9th inning against Frank Herrmann. With one out, Melky Cabrera walked and Butler followed with a double. Eric Hosmer followed with a two-run single. Gio then drove in Hosmer with a single to cut the Indians lead to 9-6.
That lead to Indians manager Manny Acta going to closer Chris Perez with just a three run lead. CP got two pop outs in the infield to end the game. He threw just six pitches to pick up the save.
*The Royals collected 12 hits, but went just 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The middle of the order (Butler, Hosmer, and Gio) went a combined 7-for-12 with four RBIs and three runs scored.
**The Royals had their largest crowd of the season on Sunday (34,015).