If you happened to be at the ballpark or sat down in front of your television tonight you had to be feeling pretty good, well at least until the sixth inning that is. Holding a 2-0 lead, Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar had the Cleveland Indians stymied as he went through the first five innings perfect; fifteen up and fifteen down. However it wasn't meant to be, as Cleveland punched back and then kept on punching as they rolled to a 7-5 victory.
Melky Cabrera walked with one out in the bottom of the first off Indians starter Justin Masterson and scored on Alex Gordon's triple to give Kansas City a quick lead before many people settled down into their seats. Kansas City added a second run when Jeff Francoeur singled Gordon in. Kansas City would send eight batters in all to the plate in the first inning before Matt Treanor popped out with the bases loaded.
Hochevar seemed to have all of his pitches working for him through five, being able to move the ball all over the plate. Even when Luke fell behind the count he was able to make Indians hitters get themselves out by chasing pitches or flying out. With Hochevar cruising along he had retired 31 consecutive batters going back to his previous start, which ultimately fell two short of the Royals club record held by Steve Busby.
I don't really feel like relieving the nightmare and most Royals fans probably wouldn't be able to stomach rehashing it either, but I will say Hochevar finished with six innings pitched and allowed six runs on five hits to go with three walks and four strikeouts. Keeping in mind that he was perfect through five innings.
As much noise as the Indians made offensively late in the game, the Royals bats went cold after the first inning. Trailing 7-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, Kansas City was able to put three on the board, but it felt like it was too little too late. Cabrera doubled to score Chris Getz, and then Francoeur hit his third homerun of the season to left pulling the Royals within two before Indians closer Chris Perez came on the get Mike Aviles to ground out.
Masterson improved to 4-0 with the win, while Hochevar took the loss to even himself at 2-2, while Perez picked up his sixth save. Cleveland is now 13-5 while Kansas City sits at 11-7. Tomorrow evening the Royals will try for a series split and to avoid their first series loss this season. Sean O'Sullivan (1-1 5.00 ERA) will face Cleveland's Josh Tomlin (3-0 2.75 ERA).