The KC Royals continue to play well, they knocked the host Cleveland Indians out of first place, and rookie Will Smith earned his first Major League victory in an 8-2 win on Tuesday. Oh and the bullpen was masterful again.
The Royals jumped on Indians starter Justin Masterson in the top of the first inning with Mike Moustakas‘ two-run homerun. Problem was, the Indians came right back in the bottom of the first.
Smith walked the first two hitters he faced (Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Kipnis) and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single to load the bases. Jose Lopez drove in one run with a single and Michael Brantley drove in another with a ground out. However Smith escaped.
The Royals offense went to work again against Masterson in the 2nd inning. They scored five runs in all. It may have been more if Moose‘s foul ball was ruled fair, but he drove in two runs with a single anyway.
Then the game moved quickly. Smith allowed two more hits and his defense played sloppy behind him (three errors). Masterson stayed in the game and allowed one more run in the 6th inning on Humberto Quintero‘s RBI single.
The Royals bullpen relieved Smith after the 6th inning and pitched three scoreless innings of relief. It started with Kelvin Herrera, who allowed one hit. Tim Collins and Aaron Crow followed with two perfect innings of relief.
On offense, the Royals went 5-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Alex Gordon, Johnny Giavotella, and Moose each had two hits.
With the Indians loss and Chicago’s win over Tampa Bay, Cleveland is now 1/2 game back of the White Sox in the American League Central. The Royals are seven games back.