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Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians Series Recap

Danny Salazar continued to dominate as Cleveland cruised to their first four game winning steak of the season Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Salazar continued to dominate as Cleveland cruised to their first four game winning steak of the season
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a series sweep of Detroit, Cleveland faced the struggling World champion Kansas City Royals for the first time in 2016. Game one saw two of the games better young pitchers face off with Cleveland's Danny Salazar and the Royals Yordano Ventura. A first inning RBI groundout from Mike Napoli but Cleveland up early, and his single in the third made it a 2-0 Cleveland lead. With the bases loaded, utility man Jose Ramirez came through with a three-run double to make it a 5-0 game, as Cleveland continued to pour it on. In the fifth, Ramirez again struck, this time with a two-run double as he stretched the lead to 7-0. On the other side, Salazar absolutely dominated the Royal bats with 7.2 innings of four hit, nine strikeout, shutout baseball. The Royals would tack on an un-earned run of Dan Otero in the ninth, but it could not stop Salazar, Ramirez, and Cleveland from strolling to their fourth straight win. 

Things to note about game one

*Francisco Lindor was 3-4

*Jose Ramirez went 3-3 with a career high five RBI

*The Royals started the season 8-2, but have now gone 6-12 since then

Ian Kennedy continued his early season dominance in game two
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

With the surging Indians having rattled off four wins in a row, Kansas City sent righty Ian Kennedy to the mound to snap the Royals two-game skid. Cleveland combated with the fifth start of Cody Anderson, who they recalled from AAA prior to the game. Kendrys Morales and the Royals continued what has been Cody Anderson's trend all year, as Morales cracked a three run homerun and gave the Royals the early 3-0 lead. The Royals got to Anderson again with an RBI double from Jarrod Dyson as the Royals stretched it to 4-0. The Indians threatened to tie it in the sixth after a walk, a single, and a second walk, but Kennedy got a big ground ball out off the bat of Carlos Santana to end the threat. In the eighth inning Kansas City looked to put the game away with Jeff Manship on the mound for Cleveland, and a ground-rule double from Eric Hosmer followed by an RBI single from Morales helped them do exactly that as they took a 7-0 lead. From there Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria finished off the game nicely, and the Royals took game two 7-0.

Things to note about game two

*Cody Anderson has allowed 7 homeruns in just 25 innings this year, while he allowed only 9 in 91.1 innings last season

*The three runs scored off Jeff Manship were the first runs scored off of him since August of 2014

*Outfielder Tyler Naquin was sent down by Cleveland to make room for Cody Anderson

*Jarrod Dyson's RBI double broke an 0-18 skid 

*Ian Kennedy (7 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts) turned in his first start with at least seven scoreless innings since July of 2014

Josh Tomlin improved to 5-0 as the Indians won their second straight series

With Josh Tomlin making his fifth start of the year, Cleveland looked to take the rubber match against Edinson Volquez. In the bottom of the first Carlos Santana hit a leadoff homerun to give Cleveland an early 1-0 lead and with Josh Tomlin cruising through the first three innings on just 31 pitches everything looked great for the Indians. In the fourth inning Lorenzo Cain put Tomlin in some hot water with a leadoff double, and Eric Hosmer capitalized with a long two run homerun to give the Royals the 2-1 lead. After Kendrys Morales lined out for the first out, the Royals jumped on Tomlin again with a single from Alex Gordon and an RBI double from Salvador Perez making it a 3-1 Royal lead. In the bottom of the inning Indians First Baseman Mike Napoli quickly cut the Royals lead in a half with a solo homerun onto the porch in left field, and Tomlin retired the Royals 1-2-3 in the fifth to keep it a 3-2 game. In the fifth inning the Indians went to work and had a three run rally, sparked by Francisco Lindor. Lindor singled to leadoff the inning, stole second, and scored on Michael Brantley's game-tying RBI single. Mike Napoli followed Brantely's single with a walk, and Yan Gomes beat out a would-be double play ball to make it runners on the corners with one out. Outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall delivered with an RBI single to knock Edinson Volquez out of the game, and the Marlon Byrd gave reliever Danny Duffy a rude welcome with a ground-rule double to give Cleveland a 5-3 lead. In the seventh inning, the Royals chased Josh Tomlin after a leadoff double from Salvador Perez, as Terry Francona made the move for Zach McAllister. McAllister was greeted by a single from Cheslor Cuthbert, and the Royals were in position for a big inning with runners on the corners and nobody out. Christian Colon quickly capitalized with an RBI double to cut it to 5-4, and Jarrod Dyson came up with runners on second and third with still nobody out. Dyson hit a sharp ground ball to Lindor, who made a heads up play and nabbed Cuthbert at home with a quick throw. Francona then made the move for Bryan Shaw, who turned in his best outing of the season. 

Cody Allen followed Shaw's outing with a 1-2-3 ninth, and Cleveland took the rubber match by a final score of 5-4. 

Things to note about game three

*Josh Tomlin has won all five starts he's made, and has made all five after an Indians loss

*Josh Tomlin has not lost a start since September 15th, 2015, which was against the Kansas City Royals

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