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Tribe Scores Two In The Fifth, Leads 2-0 After Six In Kansas City

The fourth inning began with Shin-Soo Choo grounding out, then Carlos Santana drew a free pass. Travis Hafner struck out for the second time tonight, and Michael Brantley grounded out as Sean O’Sullivan continued breezing right along.

Billy Butler singled leading off the second but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit to a double. With two down Wilson Betemit collected Kansas City’s third hit, but Josh Tomlin induced a grounder from Kila Ka’aihue to end the inning.

Matt LaPorta singled leading off inning number five for the Tribe’s third hit, and Jack Hannahan drew a four-pitch walk, putting two on with nobody out for the Indians’ first legitimate threat of the night. Adam Everett laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving both runners into scoring position and bringing Grady Sizemore to the plate.

Sizemore came through with an RBI single to shallow center — Hannahan holding at second in case the ball were caught — and the Indians led 1-0. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a walk, loading the bases, still with only one out.

Batting .208, Shin-Soo Choo came to the plate and delivered a line drive to left that ended up being a force play at third, retiring Sizmore but giving the Indians their second run of the inning. Carlos Santana popped up for the final out of the frame, but halfway home, Cleveland led 2-0.

Needing to shut the Royals down after his team scored, Josh Tomlin did just that, setting Kansas City down in order in the fifth.

Exactly what a good starter does when his team takes the lead — nice job by Tomlin.

In the Indians’ sixth, Hafner popped out, Brantley was called out on strikes, and LaPorta grounded out and quickly, the Tribe was back out on defense.

O’Sullivan had thrown 91 pitches to this point. Would he come out for the seventh? We would have to see.

Melky Cabrera popped out leading off the K.C. sixth, but Alex Gordon doubled to right. Tomlin then got Billy Butler to ground to third, Gordon having to hold at second, and Jeff Francoeur was retired on a fly ball to center, and Tomlin was through six innings on only 77 pitches.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.