The Indians sent the entire lineup to the plate in the top of the fifth, reeling off six runs in route to a 9-3 victory on Friday night to open the series in Kansas City against the Royals.
Anthony Reyes, the Indians starting pitcher, only went three innings. He had tightness in his throwing arm during warm-ups that never seemed to loosen up, so he was pulled even though he’d pitched one-hit ball through three.
When he left, the Indians were up 2-0. Royals starting pitcher Brandon Duckworth was his own worst enemy in this inning. He started the top of the second with a walk to Jhonny Peralta. Victor Martinez singled Peralta over to second. Duckworth then walked Shin-Soo Choo on a full count.
He almost bailed himself out of the inning after getting Ryan Garko to ground into a double play that allowed Peralta to score, but another free pass on four pitches to Franklin Gutierrez gave Asdrubal Cabrera the chance to single in Martinez, making it 2-0 Indians.
Edward Mujica ended up with the win. He relieved Reyes in the fourth, went two innings, and was the recipient of the six run Indians inning. He pitched two innings, allowing four hits and no runs.
Cabrera started the six run fifth with a single. Grady Sizemore singling him over to third. Carroll also singled, scoring Cabrera. Those three hits sent Duckworth to the showers, and both runners would eventually score, handing Duckworth the loss.
Joel Peralta relieved Duckworth, and gave up an infield single to David Dellucci, scoring Sizemore. Next up was the Indians Jhonny Peralta. In the battle of the Peraltas, Jhonny won, hitting a single to bring in Carroll. Martinez singled next, scoring Dellucci.
That was it for Kansas City's Peralta, as he could not even register an out. That brought on Yashuhiko Yabuta. Choo greeted him with an infield single, scoring Peralta.
Ryan Garko, or affectionately known as Abner Double Play, dished up the first two outs of the inning by hitting into, you guessed it, a double play, but he did score Martinez from third. Gutierrez grounded out and the single-fest six-run inning was over.
All told, the Indians had seven singles in a row during this six run outburst.
The Royals registered a hit parade of their own in the bottom of the seventh. They went double-single-single-double in their three run inning.
Ross Gload doubled off the third Indians pitcher of the night Tom Mastny. After a Roberto Callaspo fly-out, Kila Ka’aihue singled moving Gload over to third. David DeJesus hit a sacrifice fly that scored Gload. Mike Aviles singled, and with runners on first and third, Jose Guillen doubled in both runners, making it 8-3 Indians.
Billy Butler grounded out to close out the inning.
Mujica was on the hook for all three Royals runs; another shaky outing for him. Mujica is the poster child for the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde season the Indians bullpen help has exhibited all season.
The Indians tacked on one more in the top of the ninth on a Peralta walk, a Choo single, and a Garko single that scored Peralta. Probably felt good not to hit into a double play!!
Masa Kobayashi pitched the ninth for Cleveland going 1-2-3 on a pair of ground outs and a line-out.
The Indians scored nine runs on twelve hits, while Kansas City could only muster three runs on a nine hit night.
Franklin Gutierrez was the only Indian not getting a hit in this one. Carroll, Martinez, Choo, and Cabrera all had a two-hit night.
The Royals got two hits and two RBI from Jose Guillen.
These two meet for the second of three Saturday evening at 7:10. Zach Jackson(0-1, 6.00 ERA) takes on Gil Meche(10-10, 4.07 ERA).
Sunday’s game features twenty game winner Cliff Lee against Zack Greinke.