CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 31: Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #23 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 31, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Missed Chances Haunt Tribe As Royals Take Rubber-Match 5-3

Indians need to do damage against Royals before brutal road-trip next week

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Indians Vs. Royals Final: Carmona Loses 11th Game As Kansas City Wins 5-3

Here is a litany of chances that the Indians missed on their way to a 5-3 loss this afternoon to the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field that gave the Royals the series win over the Tribe:

In the first inning, with two outs and Asdrubal Cabrera at first, Cabrera was picked off and run down for the third out, leaving Carlos Santana at the plate as the inning ended;

In the second, after Jeff Francoeur had given the Royals a 1-0 lead with a homer off of Fausto Carmona (5-11, 5.31 ERA), Santana led off with a single, and with one out, Kosuke Fukudome walked. After Austin Kearns was retired, just-called-up Jason Donald walked to load the bases for Lou Marson. Who proceeded to strike out against Kansas City emergency starter Danny Duffy (3-4, 5.05 ERA);

In the third, Michael Brantley singled leading off, and was also picked off. Thus, when Cabrera walked later, instead of having two on and one out, there were two outs, and Santana flied out to end the frame;

Mike Moustakas doubled in the fourth to give the Royals a 2-0 lead, and in the bottom half, Kearns singled with two outs but then Donald fanned to end the inning;

The Royals made it 3-0 on an Alex Gordon blast in the top of the fifth, and this time the Indians came fighting back. With two outs, Jason Kipnis hit his first major league homer to make it 3-1. Cabrera doubled and Santana tripled and suddenly it was 3-2, but Matt LaPorta flied out to leave the tying run at third;

Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Fukudome got his first hit with the Indians with a leadoff double. Louis Coleman came on for Kansas City and got Kearns to ground out, with the runner holding, and struck out Donald. Marson then walked to put two on, but new reliever Tim Collins got Brantley to pop out, and a golden opportunity to tie went by the wayside;

In the seventh, Cabrera singled with one out, and with two outs, LaPorta walked off of Matt Holland. But Fukudome was called out on strikes to end that threat;

Kansas City added a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Billy Butler that ended Carmona’s day and brought on Tony Sipp, but in the Tribe eighth The Good Guys again pulled within a run when pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera doubled leading off, moved to third on a wild pitch from Holland and scored on pinch-hitter Travis Hafner’s ground out, but Lonnie Chisenhall and Brantley struck out to leave the margin at 4-3 headed to the ninth;

And finally in the ninth, after the Royals touched Sipp on a base hit from Alcides Escobar following a 13-pitch at-bat, Cabrera walked with one out against Joakim Soria, who then induced Santana to bounce into a game ending 4-3 double play, giving Soria 20 saves on the season.

For those of you keeping score at home, all of that added up to a 1-for-9 day with runners in scoring position and ten men left on base.

With the loss, the Indians again fall to a game over .500 at 53-52, and again drop 2.5 games behind the Tigers in the Central Division.

Now for the Tribe comes the no-doubt fun prospect of a seven-game trip to Boston and Texas. The first of four with Boston comes on Monday night, when Josh Tomlin (11-5) faces the Red SoxJohn Lackey (9-8).


Amidst The Flurry Of The Trade Deadline, Indians Look To Achieve A Little Winning Streak

The face of the Indians has changed a little since last night, as Ubaldo Jimenez is a passed physical away from joining the Tribe and Orlando Cabrera is now a San Francisco Giant.

Amid all the activity surrounding the trade deadline, which comes this afternoon at 4, Cleveland will go for back-to-back wins over the Royals in the last game before a seven-game trip to the leaders of the AL East and West, the Red Sox and the Rangers, respectively.

Fausto Carmona (5-10, 5.34 ERA) gets today’s start, hoping to continue the turnaround that his first two starts since coming off the disabled list have shown. In his last outing Carmona got a no-decision against the Angels, but in that game he went six scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and three walks.

Couple that outing with a win at Minnesota on the 18th, and Carmona has given up only two runs in 12 innings since coming back.

Carmona went seven innings and got the win on April 28 vs. the Royals at Progressive Field, surrendering two runs in an 8-2 Indians’ victory, and for his career, Carmona is 6-4 against Kansas City, with a 4.62 ERA in 87.2 innings.

The Royals will send rookie Danny Duffy (2-4, 5.17 ERA) to make his first career appearance against the Tribe. Duffy has worked 62.2 innings over 12 starts, and has given up 72 hits and 30 walks to go with 54 strikeouts.

Duffy will be starting in place of Kyle Davies, who was scratched from today's start with a sore shoulder.

After today’s game, the Tribe will begin a four-game set against the Red Sox at Fenway on Monday night.


Indians Vs. Royals Final: On A Magical Night, Matt LaPorta Gives Tribe 5-2 Win

On a night when the Indians obtained starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies (in a deal discussed elsewhere on our site), the Tribe twice looked to be about to fall to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2.

But Michael Brantley’s eighth-inning single tied the game at 1-1, and then, after Kansas City regained the lead in the top of the ninth, Cleveland tied the game on Kosuke Fukudome’s first RBI — a sac fly with one out to score Orlando Cabrera — and then, with two outs and two on, Matt LaPorta went deep to left field for a walkoff three-run homer.

For one night and after several tense hours on and off the field, all is well and magical in Cleveland.

Tony Sipp got the win in relief of Justin Masterson, who pitched into the ninth and allowed just two runs on nine hits. Sipp allowed an inherited runner to score, but moves to 6-2 on the season, while the RoyalsJoakim Soria takes the loss to fall to 5-4.

After Kansas City scored in the first, it stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the eighth. Lonnie Chisenhall led off with a walk, and Aaron Crow came on in relief of Tim Collins.

A big passed ball moved Chisenhall to second, but the next two were retired before Brantley came through with the Indians’ first earned run since Tuesday.

Chris Getz put Kansas City back ahead in the ninth with a single, but in the bottom half, Asdrubal Cabrera was hit by a Soria pitch leading off, and after a force out at second off the bat of Travis Hafner, Carlos Santana’s double moved pinch-runner Orlando Cabrera to third.

That was when Fukudome came through with his fly ball to left, and after Chisenhall walked again, LaPorta sent Progressive Field into euphoria with his game-winner.

And so it is on to the rubber-match of this series on Sunday at 1:05. Let’s hope that the adrenaline from the big news and the big win tonight can carry over.

The Indians climbed back to within 1.5 games of Detroit, which lost to the Angels earlier on Saturday.


Indians Try Again To Get Untracked In Middle Game Of Weekend Series Saturday Night

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(Sports Network) – Hoping for a much better result than yesterday, the Cleveland Indians host the Kansas City Royals tonight in the second of three games at Progressive Field.

Billy Butler hit a pair of home runs to power Kansas City past Cleveland, 12-0, in the opener on Friday. Melky Cabrera added a grand slam and Alex Gordon homered and doubled while knocking in three runs for the Royals, who have won three of five.

Jeff Francis (4-11) tossed eight shutout innings to earn his first win since beating the Angels on June 10.

“If I can just keep throwing strikes and let the defense do it’s job things will work out,” said Francis. “I felt good out there tonight and this is something positive to build on.”

Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana both doubled for the Indians, who had just five hits and have dropped seven of eight.

Carlos Carrasco (8-9), who was ejected in the fourth inning, was pegged with the loss after giving up seven runs on seven hits in just 3 1/3 innings.

Carrasco became upset after Cabrera stood in the batter’s box to admire his home run and in return delivered a pitch inches from Butler’s head. Carrasco was immediately ejected as the benches cleared, but order was quickly restored and there were no further ejections.

“We always said that pitching sets the tone and obviously he didn’t bring his ‘A’ game tonight,” said Cleveland manager Manny Acta about his starter. “He didn’t have any command out there and just struggled.”

Orlando Cabrera singled in the second inning, breaking a 10 2/3 inning hitless-drought for the Tribe. Kosuke Fukudome was hitless in his Indians debut to end a five-game hit streak.

Not much has gone right for Kansas City righty Felipe Paulino this season, as he is just 1-8 with a 4.54 ERA with the Royals and Rockies. Paulino has racked up 73 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings, but he has yielded 86 hits and has gotten very little run support. On Sunday, Paulino allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of work in a loss to Tampa Bay.

Paulino has never faced Cleveland.

Slated to oppose the Royals tonight is Justin Masterson, who has been fantastic through 21 starts for Cleveland. Although his 8-7 record is rather mediocre, Masterson owns a 2.57 ERA, the more accurate reflection of just how well he has pitched. One of his seven losses came on Sunday against the White Sox despite the fact that he yielded only one earned run on four hits in seven innings of action.

Masterson has already posted two victories over Kansas City this season and is now 3-2 lifetime versus the Royals.

The Indians have won seven of 10 over the Royals this season, including a three-game sweep at home in late April.


Indians Vs. Royals Final: Jeff Francis Goes 8 Scoreless Innings As Royals Romp 12-0

The Indians fell behind 2-0 in the first inning tonight on a two-run homer from Billy Butler, and the Kansas City Royals already had all the runs they would need off of Carlos Carrasco. But the Royals did not stop there.

Scoring in all but three innings and belting four home runs, Kansas City humbled the Tribe at Progressive Field 12-0, and with the Tigers’ win over the Angels, Cleveland is further out of first place than they have been at any time this season, as Detroit increased its lead to 2.5 games.

Carrasco had his second temper tantrum in recent weeks in the fourth inning after Melky Cabrera hit a grand slam to make it 7-0 Kansas City, when he went high and inside to Butler, almost hitting Butler in the head and getting himself ejected in the process. If you will recall, a couple of weeks ago Carrasco almost took the first baseman's glove off with a fastball throw to first after another bad inning.

Carrasco (8-9) lasted only 3.1 innings, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits, with three walks and only one K, and giving up three of Kansas City’s homers.

Chad Durbin, Frank Herrmann and Rafael Perez all got some work in, but only Perez escaped unscathed, as Durbin and Herrmann combined to allow five runs in 4.2 innings.

Butler ended up with two homers for Kansas City, giving him 12 for the season. Melky Cabrera’s grand salami was his 13th long ball of the season, and Alex Gordon also belted his 13th homer, in the second inning.

Kansas City totaled 16 hits, while the Indians’ offense could muster only five hits off of Francis (4-11) and Blake Wood, who finished up with a scoreless ninth.

Orlando Cabrera led the way for the Tribe with two hits, while Kosuke Fukudome went 0-for-4 in his first game with Cleveland.

The Indians will send Justin Masterson on Saturday at 7:05. It is not overstating the case to say that the Tribe needs to find a way to win the last two games of this series before embarking on a tough trip to Boston and Texas, after falling to 1-5 on this eight-game homestand with tonight’s loss.

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