Cleveland Indians: Bullpen spoils big night from offense in loss to Royals

Cesar Hernandez #7 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
Cesar Hernandez #7 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Despite a rare display of power from the offense, the Cleveland Indians could not finish off the Kansas City Royals as they saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

On a night that saw the Cleveland Indians offense breakout, it was the bullpen that faltered as the Tribe fell 8-6 to the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field Tuesday.

Cleveland jumped all over Royals starter Jakob Junis early as Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and Sandy Leon delivered a solo shot in the bottom of the second to put the Indians on top 3-0.

In the top of the third, Kansas City would tie the score as Whit Merrifield hit a three-run home run off Indians rookie right-hander Triston McKenzie evening the game at three.

The game would not stay tied for long as the Indians again used the long ball as Francisco Lindor hit a two-run home run to put Cleveland on top 5-3.

Meanwhile, McKenzie was able to keep the Royals at bay for the remainder of his start as he finished the night after five innings in which he allowed three runs, three hits, a walk and struck out seven.

In the top of the seventh, Kansas City tied the game off newly acquired reliever Cal Quantrill as Nicky Lopez plated Matt Reynolds with a ground ball and Cam Gallagher hit an RBI double to even the score at five.

Kansas City would pull ahead in the top of the eighth as Maikel Franco delivered a sac-fly off of Adam Cimber to put the Royals on top 6-5. Later in the inning, with Oliver Perez on the mound for Cleveland, Kansas City extended the lead to 7-5 as Lopez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Royals tacked on another in the top of the ninth off Adam Plutko as Franco ripped a one-run single to push the lead to 8-5.

The Indians would add a run in the bottom of the ninth as Leon plated Tyler Naquin with a ground ball, but it would be too little too late as Scott Barlow locked down an 8-6 Royals win.

With the loss, the Indians fell to 26-16 on the season, saw their three-game winning streak snapped and fell a half-game behind the White Sox for first place in the AL Central. Meanwhile, Kansas City improved to 15-28 and snapped their seven-game losing skid.

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On Deck: The Indians will continue their four-game series with the Royals Wednesday by sending veteran right-hander Carlos Carrasco to the mound. He’ll face off with Kansas City southpaw Danny Duffy with first pitch from Progressive Field scheduled for 6:10 p.m. EST.