Yep. Not much else to say at this point. The Indians offense failed to show up again tonight and the Indians dropped their fifth straight game on this road trip, falling tonight to the Royals, 5-2. The Indians have looked lifeless and defeated over these last five games, which were against the dregs of the AL Central. The Twins and Royals have made the Indians look like they should be in a battle for fourth place in the division. The Tribe managed just a Carlos Santana solo home run and an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI single following a phantom hit by pitch.
For anyone who was paying attention tonight, however, you would notice that Santana was actually minus-3 in runs as his first inning throwing error led to two runs off Zach McAllister and he allowed two other stolen bases that subsequently scored on RBI singles. Obviously, stolen bases aren't entirely the catcher's fault, and one runner even stole on a pitchout, but it was a rough night for Santana behind the dish. The first inning was anything but pretty and Santana's error had a lot to do with it.
McAllister, in his first start since hanging in there against Justin Verlander and a tough Tigers lineup, struggled with his command and wasn't nearly as sharp as he has been in most of his other starts this season. Alex Gordon drove a ball to deep center to start the game and it was a sign of things to come as McAllister threw a lot of pitches over the middle of the plate and had some pretty hard hit balls. After the fly out, Alcides Escobar walked and Lorenzo Cain singled to set the inning up. As the Royals have done all season against the Indians, they were aggressive on the basepaths, calling for a double steal. Santana's errant throw allowed Escobar to score and Cain to go to third. Cain scored on a Billy Butler ground out.
With the Indians down 2-0 and not doing anything offensively, McAllister's second inning effectively put the game out of reach. With two outs, he walked Chris Getz. Getz immediately stole second. Jarrod Dyson followed with a RBI knock and then stole second on a pitchout. He would then come around to score on Gordon's double to left center. Now trailing 4-0, the Indians failed to put together any semblance of a rally.
Carlos Santana homered in the fourth inning, a line drive shot to left center that was upheld upon review. Eleven of the next 12 hitters were retired, with the only baserunner coming via a Santana walk in the seventh. He was erased when the next batter, Jose Lopez, hit into a beautiful 5-4-3 double play. McAllister settled down and kept the Indians in the ballgame as best he could, but with the Indians averaging just three runs per game in the 18 games since the All-Star break, the damage was already done.
McAllister gave the run back in the fifth on a single by Escobar and then a RBI double down the left field line by Cain. The ball never made it into the corner, but Johnny Damon's throw to the cut-off man was in super slo-mo and the speedy Escobar was safe easily at the plate. The Indians would inch a run closer in the eighth. Jack Hannahan doubled leading off an inning for the second time on the night. Shin-Soo Choo was supposedly hit by a pitch, but he got up, picked up his bat, and stood at the plate while Royals manager Ned Yost came out to argue. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a single to cut the lead to 5-2, but the Indians got no closer.
With the loss, the Indians drop to a season-low of 50-54, seven games back in the Central, and a mile back in the wild card. Zach McAllister dropped to 4-3 with the loss and Luis Mendoza improved to 5-7. Greg Holland, the new Royals closer, picked up his first save.
Stat of the Night: The 2011 Indians ended the month of July with an 11-15 record. The 2012 version ends July with an 11-16 record.
Player of the Game: Travis Hafner. He didn't play, which helped the Indians the way he's going, but his wife gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Congratulations to Pronk and his wife.
Tomorrow's Game: Corey Kluber will make his Major League starting debut, having appeared in three games in relief last season. The Royals moved their rotation around to push Jeremy Guthrie back and send left hander Bruce Chen to the mound. First pitch at 8:10 p.m.