It may not have been overly exciting until the very end, but the Royals got back in the win column with a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
We had a pitcher’s duel on our hands at Progressive Field on Tuesday night. Kris Medlen took the hill for the Royals and dazzled. He threw 6.1 shutout innings, giving up just five hits over that span. He did not strike anyone out and hardly threw more strikes than balls, but got the job done. At a time when the Royals starters had the worst numbers in the MLB during the month, a great start was extremely needed.
Ryan Madson, Wade Davis and Greg Holland finished the final 2.2 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out four. Holland struggled again, but no runs scored and earned his 31st save of the season.
The Royals hitters mustered just four hits on Tuesday, but they were timely and effective. Mike Moustakas doubled in the 2nd inning with two outs after a foul ball landed just feet from Indians catcher Yan Gomes. A passed ball got Moustakas to 3rd, and Salvador Perez drove him in with a single.
Alex Rios continued his hot September. A moonshot down the leftfield line by the right fielder in the 5th gave the Royals their second run of the game. During the month of September, Rios has the second highest batting average among Royals (with at least 10 at-bats). He has two home runs this month amongst his eight hits since his return from the chicken pox on September 8.
The stellar Royals defense returned on Tuesday night as well. Mike Moustakas, Ben Zobrist, Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon all had web gem worthy plays throughout the game. Zobrist and Escobar made diving stops on back-to-back plays in the bottom of the 4th.
Indians starter Chris Tomlin also pitched very well. He does take the loss, however, after a complete game. Trevor Bauer also pitched a complete game loss the last time the Royals were in Cleveland.
Medlen, an offseason signing coming off his second Tommy John surgery, is now 4-1 with a 3.92 ERA. His starts have been getting better and better. The Royals have certainly gotten a best-case-scenario with him so far. Dayton Moore proved once again that he knows what he is doing. Medlen, Madson, Morales: all 2015 offseason signings that have proved to be huge factors in the Royals success. Medlen is signed through 2016 and will likely have a full time rotation spot with the assumed departures of Johnny Cueto and Jeremy Guthrie.
At a time that the Royals were struggling, this was a gritty win that looked like “Royals baseball”. There was excellent defense, some good bullpen pitching and timely hitting that sunk the streaking Indians. The Blue Jays lost in Atlanta (shocking, I know) and the Royals increased their lead for home field advantage to three games. With the Royals win, the Detroit Tigers are officially eliminated from the American League Central race, ending their four-year reign at the top.
Johnny Cueto has been bad for the Royals for the majority of his starts with them, and it’s not a huge secret. In fact, Cueto has been such a disaster, some are even calling for Jeremy Guthrie to take his spot in the rotation ... Read more