Reaction: Cleveland Indians Struggle in Loss to Royals

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The Cleveland Indians couldn’t put anything together against Kansas City on Tuesday, as they fell 5-3 to the Royals. Danny Salazar had a mediocre night, lasting seven innings and striking out nine but allowing four runs on five hits, including a home run. Jason Vargas did a much better job for the Royals, giving up a pair of runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out five batters in his six innings of work. Tuesday also marked the return of Nick Swisher, who went 0-for-4 in his first appearance of the season.

Key Moments
First Inning
The Indians were the first to score, but it was a short-lived victory. Carlos Santana walked with one out, and Michael Brantley hit a home run to put the Tribe up 2-0. Salazar wasn’t able to keep the Royals at bay, as he gave up a lead off single to Alex Gordon, and hit Kendrys Morales with a pitch to put two runners on base. Eric Hosmer took advantage, hitting a homer of his own to give Kansas City a 3-2 lead.

Fifth Inning
The speedy Jarrod Dyson got the fifth inning started with a triple. Salazar was able to get one out, but Gordon came through with a single to score Dyson.

Eighth Inning
Kelvin Herrera came in to pitch the eighth inning, and he met his match in Lonnie Chisenhall. Chisenhall hit the ball high and deep for a home run off of Herrera, who hadn’t given up a homer yet this season. The Royals got the run back in the bottom half of the inning, when Hagadone walked Gordon and allowed Hosmer to hit an RBI triple to right-field, putting the Royals up 5-3.

The Positives
The Indians did get some length out of Salazar, and even if he wasn’t stellar, he did his best to keep the Tribe in the game for seven innings. Bryan Shaw also did a nice job of working out of the jam created by Hagadone in the eighth inning, retiring the only batter he faced.

The Negatives
Offensively, the Tribe couldn’t put anything together against Vargas and the Royals. All of the Indians’ runs came on home runs, and they just couldn’t string hits together. Nick Hagadone was also a mess out of the bullpen, allowing one run on a hit and a walk before being removed from the game.

Check It Out
– Heading in to Tuesday’s games, Brantley had the seventh-highest average in the American League. He also was ranked 10th in OPS. He continued his hot streak by going 1-for-3 with a walk, as well as collecting a pair of RBI on the home run.

– On Wednesday, the Indians will take on left-hander Danny Duffy, who is 2-0 with a 3.45 ERA and 23 strikeouts this season. Duffy has held Cleveland hitters to a .265 average throughout his career against them, which isn’t surprising considering how bad the Tribe has been against lefties the past several seasons. The Royals will have to face Carlos Carrasco, who is 3-2 with 29 strikeouts in just 21.2 innings. Despite a strong start to the year, Carrasco’s ERA has skyrocketed to 4.98 after two disastrous outings in a row.

Next: Making the Grade: Ranking Designated Hitters in the AL Central

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