What can you say about this one?
The Indians must have been glad to be back on the field on Monday, because they exploded out of the gate with two in the first and another in the second, and then lit up the Royals for 10 runs in the fourth inning, four more in the fifth and added two in the sixth to give Josh Tomlin his fifth win of the season in what should be the dictionary-definition of "support", crushing Kansas City 19-1.
An unfortunate victim of the Cleveland carnage was Royals’ pitcher Vin Mazzaro, who set an all-time record for most runs allowed by a pitcher in a game in less than three innings; Mazzaro gave up 14 runs in only 2 1/3 frames. "Unfortunate" because Mazzaro was sent down to the minors after the game.
The Indians cranked out 20 hits, and Mazzaro was not the actual losing pitcher. That would be Kyle Davies, who left in the first inning after giving up three walks. Two of those runners scored on an Orlando Cabrera single and the Tribe never looked back.
Davies (1-6, 7.46) left with shoulder soreness after facing only four batters, and was followed by six relievers. The final three held the Tribe off the board for the last three innings, but obviously by that time it was a matter of just getting the game over with.
Michael Brantley hit the only homer of the onslaught, a three-run shot in the fourth. Brantley and Matt LaPorta each had four RBI and LaPorta went 4-for-4. Orlando Cabrera and Travis Buck (who was called up to replace Grady Sizemore after Sizemore went on the DL with his sore knee) each had three hits, while Carlos Santana walked three times and added a hit. Friday’s hero Travis Hafner hit a bases-clearing double in that 10-run fourth that scored three.
Even Shelley Duncan — inserted to replace Hafner at DH — drove in two before the game finally settled down for the late innings.
Tomlin (5-1, 2.56 ERA) went six innings, and you know, what he did must have been tough and kudos to him for it. When you have a ridiculous lead and can still do your job and keep the other team off the board except for a run — that is a professional.
Tomlin allowed a run on five hits, with no walks and one strikeout, and was only touched once, on an RBI grounder from Billy Butler in the fourth.
Tomlin joined Justin Masterson for the team lead in victories with his second win over the Royals in 2011.
Justin Germano, Chad Durbin and Vinnie Pestano each pitched a perfect inning to wrap it up.
The Tigers lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, so the Indians’ lead in the Central increases to 4 1/2 games over Detroit, while the Royals fall to .500 and are now six games back of the Tribe.
This brief two-game set concludes on Tuesday night with Carlos Carrasco scheduled for the Tribe. Originally Mazzaro had been slated to go on Tuesday, but Sean O’Sullivan will get the call instead in an 8:10 game.