Kansas City Royals: Five Keys to Winning Cleveland Series

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Whit Merrifield
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Whit Merrifield /
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CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 23: Jay Bruce /

No. 1 Avoid Falling Behind Early

Obviously if the Kansas City Royals never fall behind, they can’t lose. That’s not always realistic. I mean, this team is near the top of the league in come-from-behind wins.

But with Cleveland’s offensive firepower, a team can not let them get going early. Boston ace Chris Sale found out about that on Thursday when he was chased after allowing seven runs in three innings.

Cleveland struck early in each of the two games it won last weekend in Kansas City. Ian Kennedy gave up three runs in the first inning and two in the third last Friday. The next day, Jason Vargas—who will start for the Royals this Friday—allowed one run in the first, two in the fourth and another in the fifth.

In each of those instances, the Kansas City Royals came to bat in the first inning already facing a deficit. As much as the team would like to turn the tables, much like they did with a pair of second-inning runs in Sunday’s win, keeping Cleveland off the board is priority No.1.

Even in that Sunday win, Cleveland pushed across three early runs—two in the third and one in the fourth—to take a 3-2 lead before Kansas City rallied.