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 Sox’ John Lackey (9-8).