Game 105: Royals 5, Indians 3

Jason Kipnis hit his first major league home run in the fifth inning.



Yet again, the Indians got the bats going later in the game, but the Royals scored key insurance runs in the last two innings to hold off a rally.

During the game, the Indians formally announced that they had acquired Ubaldo Jimenez for Alex White, Joe Gardner, Matt McBride, and a PTBNL (Drew Pomeranz). There were two late complications that held up the deal: McBride suffered an eye injury during Friday's BP, but that wasn't serious. The more important sticking point was Jimenez's health. Jimenez flew to Arizona to undergo a physical by the Cleveland medical staff, passed it, and with that, the trade was official.

Because Jimenez pitched on Saturday night, he'll make his next start in next weekend's series with the Rangers. Thus far the Indians haven't decided which pitcher will be kicked out of the rotation, though Carlos Carrasco's likely suspension may delay that decision for another turn. David Huff to me seems the logical choice, but if he pitches well in Boston, the Indians will have a difficult decision to make.

Fausto Carmona is another pitcher the Indians can option, but he's been serviceable since coming off the DL. He gave three runs through seven innings, and was sent out to pitch the eighth. I think Manny Acta was trying to get away with not having to use the core bullpen members the day before beginning a very difficult road trip, but in this case Acta tried to squeeze one inning too much. Carmona walked Alex Gordon to open the inning, and Acta stuck with him long enough for another run to score. Then Acta tried to get away with using just Tony Sipp to finish the game, and that backfired. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Alcides Escobar fouled off pitch after pitch before finally driving in the fifth run of the game with two outs. Sipp, who didn't want to walk Escobar, kept feeding the Kansas City shortstop outside fastball after outside fastball, and Escobar kept fouling them off the other way.

The Indians' offense got going in the fifth inning. Jason Kipnis started the action, hitting his first major league home run off of Danny Duffy, and Carlos Santana drove in another run that inning with a two-out triple. But they would get no closer than a run.

The Indians did not acquire another outfielder before the July deadline, so although deals can get done in August, it looks like either Ezequiel Carrera or Austin Kearns will be in the starting lineup until Shin-Soo Choo comes off the DL in mid-August. And unlike this past homestand, the teams the Indians will be facing in the next 10 days don't usually play 3-2 or 2-1 contests.

 

20110731_royals_indians_0_20110731160913_lbig__medium

via www.fangraphs.com

 

Highest WPA Lowest WPA
A. Cabrera .146 Brantley -.172
Carrera .144 Carmona -.131
Fukudome .041 Kearns -.110
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