The KC Royals were thumped out of first place in the American League Central by the last place Cleveland Indians on Monday night. They lost 9-0.
Who would have thought that Ubaldo Jimenez would decide to pitch like the pitcher the Indians thought they were acquiring? Well, he did tonight. He held the Royals to just one hit over seven innings. That hit was an infield single by Billy Butler. Yup, the slowest guy on the team. It came in the 4th inning.
Ubaldo allowed two hits to lead off the 8th inning, which chased him from the game. Still, the Royals could not score. Ned Yost pinch-hit George Kottaras for Salvador Perez (really?) and Terry Francona countered with lefty Nick Hagadone, who struck him out. Hagadone then got a weak ground out by Elliot Johnson (who pinch-hit for Chris Getz) before striking out Alex Gordon to end the threat.
The Royals went down without a fight in the 9th inning against Cody Allen, as he struck out pinch-hitter Miguel Tejada for the second out.
What compounded the Royals offense being completely shut down was the poor pitching by starter Wade Davis. He allowed a solo homerun to Jason Kipnis in the first inning, the first of the season for him and his .185 batting average.
It all completely unraveled for Davis in the 5th inning, when the Indians scored six runs. He allowed a one out double to Michael Brantley (who had three hits) and then walked Kipnis (?). Asdrubal Cabrera (he of the .225 average) doubled in the first run of the inning. Then after recording an out, Nick Swisher singled in a run and Carlos Santana doubled in another. After a coaching visit, the seldom-used Ryan Raburn hit a three-run homerun. Out was Davis and in was Luke Hochevar who got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Raburn added another homerun in the 8th inning off Kelvin Herrera (can he stop giving up homers already?). He went 4-for-4 on the night to raise his average to a whopping .208.
The night could have been a whole lot worse for Davis if not for the two double plays turned and Lorenzo Cain throwing a runner out at the plate.
What was lost in the blowout was the solid pitching from three of the Royals four relievers. Hochevar, Aaron Crow, and Tim Collins combined to throw 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Only Hochevar allowed a baserunner (a one out single in the sixth).
The Royals now welcome Tampa Bay to town, who have been in town since Sunday night. Former Ray James Shields will start the opening game versus Alex Cobb (who has a 1.82 ERA).