A late-inning defensive miscue proved costly and paved way to a second consecutive victory for the Tribe.
Manager Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians are one step closer to gaining home-field advantage in the American League Divisional Series after defeating the Kansas City Royals by a score of 6-3 on Saturday late afternoon.
Pivotal eighth inning
Walking the leadoff man is never a part of a pitcher's game plan. Walking Rajai Davis to start an inning is simply asking for trouble.
The AL leader in stolen bases (43) swiped yet another bag after drawing the leadoff walk from Royals reliever Matt Strahm. Shortly thereafter, the 35-year-old veteran scored the go-ahead run on an error by second baseman Whit Merrifield to bring the score to 4-3. Francisco Lindor drove in two more runs later in the inning thanks to a well-struck double to bring the score to 6-3, the final result of the game.
Andrew Miller and Cody Allen pitched scoreless eighth and ninth innings to earn a 24th hold and 31st save respectively.
Bauer strikes out nine batters
It has been an up-and-down season for Trevor Bauer. Saturday yielded one of the high points.
The UCLA product hurled six innings of three-run ball in his first start of October. His final line: 6 IP 6 H 3 R/ER 2 BB 9 K (96 pitches, 62 strikes, 65%).
Bauer will be heavily relied upon for the remainder of the month with Carlos Carrasco (right hand) and potentially Danny Salazar (right forearm) sidelined due to injury.
With a matchup against the Blue Jays later tonight, the Red Sox are now even with the Tribe in terms of record (93-67). Boston edges out Cleveland in the tie-breaker with two games remaining in the regular season.
Sunday afternoon marks the finale game of the three-game series between the Indians and Royals. First pitch is slated for 3:15 PM from Kauffman Park.
The probable starters for the matinee game will be RHP Josh Tomlin (12-9, 4.48) and RHP Ian Kennedy (11-10, 3.69).
Tomlin has put an ugly month of August (0-5, 11.48) behind him and returned to dominant form this September (1-1, 1.40).
Kennedy has been just as successful over the course of the past two months. The 31-year-old righty only has two non-quality starts dating back to July 30th.null