Kansas City Royals’ 7-1 Rout of Cleveland Indians Crushes Playoff Hopes

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The Royals delivered the final blow to the Indians’ playoff hopes on Tuesday night, defeating the Indians 7-1 in a crushing loss. Danny Salazar turned in a poor outing, allowing five runs in 4 2/3 innings, including eight hits and three walks. He did strike out eight, including six strikeouts in his first two innings, but it wasn’t enough to hold the Royals lineup. Meanwhile, Yordano Ventura shut out the Tribe for seven innings, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out six.

Sep 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar (31) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Key Innings
Top of the 4th, tied 0-0
Billy Butler led off the inning with a walk, and advanced on a single by Alex Gordon. With one out, Omar Infante launched a line drive into left field for a two-run double that gave the Royals an early 2-0 lead.

Top of the 5th, Indians trail 2-0
After two quick outs, the fifth inning unraveled for Salazar. Eric Hosmer doubled to right field and scored on a ground-rule double by Butler. After intentionally walking Gordon, Salazar gave up two more runs when Salvador Perez doubled to left. With a 5-0 deficit, the Indians had little chance of coming back.

Bottom of the 8th, Indians trail 5-0
Nick Hagadone gave up a single to Hosmer to lead off the eighth inning. After Scott Atchison came on in relief, Butler singled to center field. Gordon followed with a two-run double to right, before the Indians were finally able to get the three outs they needed to escape the inning.

The Positives
Michael Brantley had two hits in four at-bats, bringing his total up to 196 hits. Rookie Austin Adams pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.

The Negatives
The Indians missed their opportunity to remain in the Wild Card chase, losing two of their first three chances against Kansas City. They hadn’t scored since the sixth inning of Sunday’s game in Minnesota, and their only run on Tuesday night came on an error.

Check It Out
– The only player with more base hits than Michael Brantley is the Astros’ Jose Altuve. Similarly, Brantley has the third-highest average, the fourth-most doubles, and is even ranked 12th in slugging percentage.

Carlos Santana added another walk to his league-leading total, with 109 this season. Despite a .233 batting average, he’s ranked 24th in on-base percentage.

– The Tribe was officially eliminated from the division on Tuesday, and their elimination number for the Wild Card is one.

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