If the KC Royals keep playing like this, the fourth place Cleveland Indians will catch them in the American League Central standings before the season ends. The Indians beat the Royals 8-5 in the first game of the three game series.
Smith lasted just three innings and allowed six of the eight runs on nine hits and two walks. Everett Teaford came on in relief and allowed one of Smith‘s runs before giving up two of his own in the next inning.
Meanwhile, Indians starter David Huff picked up his third win of the season. Two of those wins have come against the Royals. He allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out five. Billy Butler hit a two-run homerun in the 6th inning.
The Royals got back into the game in the top of the 8th inning against Indians reliever Scott Maine. Three straight hits to lead off the inning put two runs on the board and a runner on second base with nobody out. Unfortunately, Joe Smith came on and put away the Royals without allowing another run.
Indians closer Chris Perez put away the Royals in the 9th inning, 1-2-3.
The Royals collected 11 hits, but went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Jason Bourgeois was picked off first base after picking up a single to lead off the game. The majority of the Royals offense came from the middle of the order (or the 3-4-5 guys). Alex Gordon, Butler, and Salvador Perez combined to go 7-for-12 with five runs scored and four RBIs.
*Shortstop Alcides Escobar and first baseman Eric Hosmer both underwent MRIs on their injured shoulders and both were held out of Friday night’s game. Escobar‘s shoulder showed no damage, while Hosmer was still awaiting results.
**Jake Odorizzi will get his second crack at the Indians on Saturday in Cleveland. No word on who will catch him.