KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 15: Shelley Duncan #47 of the Cleveland Indians is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a home run during the 3rd inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals.on Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
What offensive struggles?
Ubaldo Jimenez started awful, having to throw over 30 pitches to get out of the first, and would have to throw 110 pitches to finish the fifth and get credit for the win. In this case, Ubaldo just happened to be pitching against the right team, as the Royals pitching staff was just plain awful; every pitcher for the Royals gave up at least a run except Mitch Maier, today's starting center fielder.
The Royals took their first lead of the series by scoring three runs off Jimenez in the second, but that lead was short-lived; the Indians would score five runs off Kansas City starter Luis Mendoza, all coming after two outs. Shelley Duncan had the key hit of the inning (and the game) with a two-out, three-run homer. After that Mendoza, who had looked decent totally lost it, and he'd be pulled in the fifth.
The Indians collected 15 hits and 7 walks on the day, hit four home runs (Duncan, Hafner, Kotchman, and Kipnis) and three doubles. 12 of the Tribe's 13 runs came with two outs. And the Indians set a franchise record with at least eight runs scored in each of their first three road games. The Royals' pitching staff was a perfect tonic for whatever ailed the offense.