Roster Update: Danny Salazar may make another start for the Indians, but it won't be in the next ten days so he was sent back to AAA in exchange for some relief help. Indians fans are getting spoiled now as immediately after the Major League debut of Salazar (the top starting pitcher prospect), they will get to see the debut of the Indians top relief prospect, C.C. Lee. Lee is 26 years old and is coming off of Tommy John surgery last season. Between three minor league levels in 2013, Lee held a 2.76 ERA with 25 strike outs in 16.1 innings.
Player of the Game
Corey Kluber was something beautiful again tonight, pitching his second best game of the season by throwing 7.2 innings of shut out baseball. He struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits during the night. His only trouble came in the fifth inning and he got himself out of trouble there with a strike out and a nice defensive play on a ball hit to the right of the mound. This marks the fourth consecutive game that the starting pitcher has won the Player of the Game and Kluber's score (9.25) is the highest of the bunch.
Asdrubal Cabrera was superb on defense today, making a couple separate difficult plays look easy, but his best play went without any credit. In the second inning, Mike Moustakas hit a ball to Cabrera's right and Cabrera went into a slide to field it. He knew he wouldn't have much time to throw him out, so he barehanded the ball and smoothly flipped it to first from his knees. Moustakas was safe with the first Royals hit of the night, but it took one of the greatest plays I've seen this year just to contain the ball.
The Indians were able to get to Tim Collins again as Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher each hit singles against the Royals lefty. The Indians have had his number all year, especially in his last four appearances when he has gone 1.2 innings, giving up four hits, three walks and four earned runs.
Carlos Santana finally put the Indians on the board right after Collins was removed from the game. Santana hit a ball up the middle to score Kipnis from second, following which, Mark Reynolds bunted between the pitcher and the third baseman for a single. This allowed Michael Bourn to pinch hit with no outs in the inning and he came through as well with a two run double. All this came after Bruce Chen had pitched six innings in his first start of the year and allowed just a single hit.
The Indians looked poised to score in the bottom of the fifth, right after Corey Kluber worked out of a tough inning that started with a lead off triple. Carlos Santana started the Indians half with a double of his own, but was not able to advance past that point. This was the first scoring chance for either team, but both starting pitchers were able to buckle down and keep the game scoreless.
It was a rare bad day for two of the Indians most consistent hitters as Michael Brantley and Asdrubal Cabrera combined to go 0-8 batting in the first and second in the line up today. Brantley had a five game hitting streak and Cabrera had been on base in four straight.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 - Kansas City Royals 0