Kansas City faced off against Cleveland tonight in the first game of a pivotal early season matchup of the top two teams in the American League Central as the Indians came into tonight with an 11-4 record against the 10-5 Royals.
Cleveland got on the board in the first inning off Royals starter Kyle Davies as Carlos Santana doubled with two outs to score Shin-Soo Choo and provide the Indians with an early 1-0 lead.
Kansas City was able to come back and tie the ballgame in the second as Wilson Betemit hit a sacifice to left to bring Billy Butler in from third. Butler, celebrating his 25th birthday, was 2-for-3 with two walks to lead Kansas City.
In what seems like has happened all too often this season, Davies once again allowed a run in the next half inning after the Royals had scored, as the Indians took 2-1 lead on a Choo sacrifice. However to his credit, Davies battled back and ended up tossing six innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked none.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kansas City scored twice on Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco to take a brief 3-2 lead, as four straight Royals hits produced two runs on RBI's by both Melky Cabrera and Alex Gordon. Gordon now has a career high 12-game hitting streak, as he has shown marked improvement thus far at the plate. Carrasco exited after 6.1 innings giving up three runs on seven hits.
Jeremy Jeffress came on in relief and was wild this evening, only getting one out and allowing the tying run on a Matt LaPorta RBI. Aaron Crow then entered and worked the Royals out a bases loaded jam by striking out Choo and getting Santana to pop out.
Kansas City got things going in the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs, before Wilson Betemit poped out to end the threat.
With neither team scoring in the ninth we went onto extra innings for the fifth time this season, but it wasn't pretty as Cleveland plated four runs off Tim Collins to build a 7-3 lead. 7-3 was the final as Kansas City went quietly in the tenth as Cleveland improved to 12-4, while Kansas City now sits at 10-6. Collins took the loss and stands at 1-1, while Joe Smith picked up the win for the Indians.
The Royals will look to break a two-game slide and get back on track in the division with Bruce Chen on the mound tomorrow evening.