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Indians fall in a heartbreaker to Kansas City, 6-5

Tribe ties the game up late, but bullpen woes prove disastrous

Indians fall in a heartbreaker to Kansas City, 6-5
July 4, 2013
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Kansas City seemed like they tried every way to beat the Indians Wednesday night off the field.

No, it wasn't Mother Nature or a power outage that would prove disastrous, but rather Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer that left the Tribe in the dark, as they fell to the Royals 6-5, snapping their five game winning streak.

After a two hour and 37 minute rain delayed the start of the game, Kansas City struck for the game’s first run off starter Scott Kazmir (4-4, 4.86 ERA) in the first inning on a RBI single by Billy Butler giving K.C. the early 1-0 lead.

Kazmir would give the Tribe a decent outing, allowing just three runs on six hits in five innings of work for a no-decision.

Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie looked much better than Kazmir at the outset, as the former Indians draft pick allowed just two hits and shutout his former club through the first five innings.

The Tribe would get to him in the sixth after Michael Bourn and Asdrubal Cabrera leadoff the inning with back-to-back knocks to put two on for second baseman Jason Kipnis.

Having already extended his hitting streak to 14 straight games with a base-hit in the first inning, Kipnis delivered on a three-run inside the park home run off Guthrie, as Royals outfielder Alex Gordon left the game injured on the play striking the back of his head against the left field fence.

Going 2-for-4 in the ballgame with three RBI, Kipnis becomes the first Indians player since Jhonny Peralta back on July 18, 2010 to hit an inside the park home run, his 13th long ball of the season.

Even with Gordon leaving the game, K.C. stormed right back a half inning later off Tribe reliever Bryan Shaw (0-1, 4.19 ERA), after the right-hander took over for Kazmir who allowed the first two Royals hitters to reach base to start the inning.

With one out, Kansas City jumped on Shaw for three straight RBI singles by Salvador PerezLorenzo Cain and third baseman Miguel Tejada to take a 4-3 lead.

Those three hits weren’t the only mistake of the night by Shaw as he threw the ball past first baseman Nick Swisheron a pickoff attempt allowing Cain to score on the play.

Swisher was charged with the error, and proved to be the most costly of three Cleveland errors on the night. Shaw finished the night allowing two runs in just 2/3 of an inning.

Although they found themselves down 5-3, the Tribe battled back to tie things up at five in the seventh inning off Guthrie, this after a power surge at Kauffman Stadium delayed the game for 12 minutes with one out in the inning.

Guthrie allowed walks to Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes as the two would come around to score on a RBI single by Bourn and a sacrifice fly by Cabrera knotting the game at five apiece. After tossing five scorless frames, the Kansas City right-hander finished the ballgame allowing five runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Cleveland bullpen woes continued though, as reliever Cody Allen gave up what would eventually be the game-winning solo blast to Hosmer with two outs in the bottom half of the seventh, to put the Royals back on top 6-5

Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his 18th save of the season, as K.C. knotted the three-game series up at a game apiece.

The loss puts Cleveland (45-39) back in second place in the A.L. Central just a half game in back of Detroit in the division standings.

Bullpen struggles aside, the Indians will look to win their seventh series since June 10 on Thursday, as Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 4.63 ERA) will matchup against James Shields (3-6, 2.99 ERA) on Fourth of July at 2:10 p.m. The Royals right-hander picked up a no-decision back in Cleveland on June 17, when he gave up just one run on four hits through six innings.

Follow Jim on Twitter @JBirdman27 or he can be reached via email at jberdysz27@gmail.com.

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