Player of the Game
In a solid Indians win, two player who are not usually brought up in the Player of the Game discussion took the contest to the wire. Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez had his best start of the year, lasting 7+ innings and allowing just three hits, but he was bested by utility man Ryan Raburn, who was playing right field in tonight's contest. Raburn went 4-4 with two singles and more importantly two home runs, for a total of 4 RBI. Jimenez finished the game with a POG score of 8.18 while Raburn edged hit with a 9.67.
Asdrubal Cabrera continued his small hot streak tonight, knocking in a run in the third inning with a single that extended his hitting streak to 8 games, the longest streak on the Indians so far this year.
The Indians were able to come up with some clutch hits for the second day in a row. In addition to the Cabrera single already mentioned, Asdrubal had an RBI double in the 5th, which was follow by an RBI single from Mark Reynolds and an RBI double by Carlos Santana, each with two outs. Ryan Raburn put and end to the Royals misery with a three run home run to end the scoring in the fifth.
After three straight disappointing starts, Ubaldo Jimenez threw seven strong innings against the Royals, pitching a one hit shut-out. Even the one hit he allowed was an infield single that Asdrubal Cabrera could have possibly gotten an out on. His success stemmed first from his ability to keep runners off the bases, but even when he did allow his three base runners, he was able to keep his composure and not allow further hits from the stretch. He did allow two hits without retiring a batter in the 8th inning, but this came with a 9 run lead and after he had thrown 100 pitches.
Ubaldo Jimenez has a way of making you eat your words if you say anything positive about him, so I will simply state that his start tonight made his season stats look slightly better. He now holds an ERA of 7.77 and a WHIP of 1.32 through 22 innings.
There may be no stat for what he did tonight, but Nick Hagadone deserves credit for coming in in the 8th inning with two runners on and no outs and preserving the shut out. The Indians lefty struck out two and forced a weak infield ground out for the other out.
The Royals didn't let Carlos Santana get another walking steal after last night's debacle. Tonight, Santana tried to get a jump as part of a hit and run, but Ryan Raburn swung through the pitch and Santana was out by a distance. Of course, according to the rules of baseball, Raburn hit a single on the next pitch.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 9 - Kansas City Royals 0