Royals fall in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (MCT) -- The Indians got two big swings, some production from two struggling hitters and an appearance from a pesky squirrel in their 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on Monday night.
Michael Brantley first put the Indians up 2-0 in the fourth inning with a two-run home run after Jason Kipnis doubled.
The Royals (9-9) answered with three runs in the top of the fifth inning off of Indians starting pitcher Zach McAllister.
Kipnis then hit a two-run home run of his own to right-center field in the sixth inning, following a double from Nick Swisher, to put the Indians back on top 4-3.
For Brantley, it's his second home run in as many games. For Kipnis (2-for-4, home run, double, two RBI) and Swisher (2-for-4, two doubles), it was a much-needed offensive-powered night for two underproducing hitters in the heart of the Tribe's lineup.
Following those home runs, the Indians' bullpen was stout again after taking over for McAllister, who threw six innings, allowed three runs, two earned, and struck out two batters.
He improved to 3-0 this season.
Marc Rzepczynski (seventh inning), Cody Allen (eighth) and John Axford all threw scoreless innings to close out the game. For Axford, it was his seventh save this season.
The Indians (9-10) did have to overcome another poor defensive outing and three errors, two from third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and one from McAllister.
But like many other things from this game, they'll be overshadowed by a squirrel that ran onto the field to loud cheers from the crowd, causing a short delay.
It raced across the infield past Swisher and rested in right field. Four grounds crew members herded the squirrel into the home bullpen an inning or two later.
McAllister was solid except for the fifth inning. Mike Moustakas opened it with a double. Alcides Escobar followed with a double to center field just past a diving Michael Bourn to make it 2-1.
Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson then bunted. McAllister fielded it but threw it away, allowing a second run to score. The Royals then took a 3-2 lead on a single from Omar Infante before McAllister got Eric Hosmer to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Catcher Carlos Santana received the day off, as Indians manager Terry Francona said he was beginning to reach for pitches and could use some work without worrying about game situations.
That allowed Chisenhall to hit cleanup.