The KC Royals and Cleveland Indians endured a lengthy rain delay in Sunday’s finale. Unfortunately for the Royals, the delay ended.
After a shutout Friday and a 12-run outburst Saturday, the KC Royals had a real chance to sweep the Tribe and (momentarily) shut some critics (me) up.
That, alas, is not what transpired in a lifeless 8-0 loss at the K that was dreary on field and off.
For the first time, young Eric Skoglund ran up on some real trouble. With two down and two on in the second, Roberto Perez rapped a double to score Edwin Encarnacion and Austin Jackson; after Jason Kipnis walked, Daniel Robertson then doubled home Perez and Kipnis but was out at third on a heady play from Whit Merrifield to catch Robertson trying to go to third.
In the bottom of the second, Merrifield extended his hit streak to 19 games. Then the rains came.
By the time the rain stopped and play resumed, Skoglund and Trevor Bauer had their days prematurely ended due to the length of the delay. Dan Otero came on for Cleveland and really held the fort well, allowing one hit over 2.1 innings of work.
On the opposite side, Travis Wood did not hold the fort down well. After getting through the third inning unscathed, Wood gave up two runs on a Kipnis sac fly and a Robertson single; it could’ve been worse but Alcides Escobar’s relay on Alex Gordon’s throw from the warning track in left-center nailed Jose Ramirez at the plate after a Jackson double.
Defensively, Whit was all over the map Sunday afternoon. He made the heady play in the second to snipe Robertson at third and later made another nice spinning play in the eighth to nail Robertson (who even now is likely putting the finishing touches on a Whit Merrifield Voodoo Doll), but his errant throw in the fifth killed a potential inning-ending double play and allowed Carlos Santana to score.
Chris Young being Chris Young, he allowed a home run to the second batter he faced in the sixth, with Kipnis’ seventh blast of the season rounding out the scoring for the Tribe.
But wait! I can imagine some of you thinking now. You haven’t mentioned the KC Royals offense! Surely they did something to battle back against Cleveland.
You would hope, against a collection of long relievers and gap-bridgers, that the KC Royals would put something together at the plate. It was not to be, as the Royals put a man on second just twice in the game—in the second, Jorge Bonifacio walked and Whit singled right before the downpour became untenable, and in the fifth, Merrifield singled and advanced to second on an Alex Gordon walk.
Full-regalia Chewbacca fanatics at Comic-Con have a better chance of scoring than the KC Royals did on Sunday.
(That’s a quality joke. Don’t you dare @ me. Also, the two inning-ending double plays didn’t help the Royals fortunes a bit.)
Monday is a new day, though, and it will feature the Houston Astros making a trip to Kauffman to face the KC Royals. Mike Fiers will take the ball for the Astros, while Ian Kennedy toes the slab at 7:15 p.m. (CT). Congrats in advance to the Astros on their victory.