Apr 24, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen (52) reacts while be taken from the game in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Fifth Inning Dooms Chen, Royals in 5-1 Loss to Indians

Apr 24, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1) steals second base against Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) in the third inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

For four and a half innings, the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals were locked in a pitcher’s duel. Suddenly, in one fell swoop, the Indians took control in the fifth inning, holding on for a 5-1 victory.

Cleveland squandered an opportunity right off the bat in the first inning. Asdrubal Cabrera singled, moved to second on a passed ball and, with one out, took third on an errant pickoff by Bruce Chen. However, Chen managed to get out of the inning thanks to some help from his defense. Jason Kipnis grounded to first, where Eric Hosmer was able to tag the base and get the throw home in time for Brett Hayes to tag Cabrera out at home.

After that point, Chen settled in. Meanwhile, Indians starter Corey Kluber was breezing through the Royals lineup, stifling the Royals lineup on three this through five innings. Kansas City’s best chance came in that ill fated fifth inning, when Alcides Escobar singled with two outs. Jarrod Dyson followed with a base hit, but Escobar was thrown out at third to end the inning.

In the bottom half of the frame, the floodgates opened for the Indians offense. Chen suddenly appeared to be throwing batting practice, as the Indians began to tee off on him, scoring five times in the inning. David Murphy had a two run single and Cabrera knocked Chen out of the game with a two run double to left. Michael Mariot came in and pitched well, but by then, it was too late.

The Royals finally got on the board in seventh. Omar Infante singled with two outs, bringing up Mike Moustakas. Moustakas hit a grounder that should have easily been the third out of the inning, but neither Nick Swisher nor Kipnis appeared to have much interest in fielding the ball. Infante scored from first, as the Royals were given a gift run.

That was all that Kluber would allow. He finished by setting down the last seven Royals he faced, four by strikeouts, as the Indians cruised to a 5-1 victory. Chen took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits and a walk in 4.1 innings of work. While it is the early going, one has to wonder how much longer Chen will remain in the rotation. Aside from his first start, Chen just has not been effective whatsoever.

Dyson had two of the Royals four hits on the day, and stole a base, in the loss.

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  • unclejesse40

    I think Duffy will take over Chen’s spot in the rotation and Chen will move to the long relief. But if I had to guess with how this manager likes to do things it probably won’t be for another month. And that is to say that Chen struggles for the next month. Heck, I’m not sure if that isn’t the right way to do this. Duffy needs to get more aggressive in how he gets batters out, which he is doing out of the pen. Maybe after a month of pitching more often and throwing harder he might get that nasty streak most top of the rotation guys seem to have.

  • unclejesse40

    Does anyone really know whats going on with Zimmer. Everyone keeps saying that he might make it to the mlb rotation this year but he hasn’t even pitched yet in the minors.

    • Hunter Samuels

      He’s in Arizona right now doing his throwing work, and is set to report to Northwest Arkansas around May 20th.

      • unclejesse40

        Thank you much Hunter. any word on how that throwing work is going?

        • Hunter Samuels

          I have not heard anything, but I’m thinking that at this point, no news is good news.