CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 26: Michael Brantley #23 of the Cleveland Indians runs out a ground ball as staring pitcher Luis Mendoza #39 of the Kansas City Royals flips the ball to first base where Brantley was called safe during the sixth inning at Progressive Field on April 26, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
The Indians apparently can score runs on the road, but not at home.
Even in the lone Tribe victory, the offense didn't take advantage of numerous opportunities. In the two losses, they faced good pitching, so they didn't have the volume of chances as they did against Jonathan Sanchez, but they had them all the same.
Josh Tomlin had a more normal outing this time around, losing his effectiveness the third time through the order. He kept the Royals at bay through four innings, but couldn't get out of a jam in the fifth, allowing consecutive RBI singles with two outs, the first a broken-bat blooper. Dan Wheeler allowed another run-scoring single after he came in, and that fourth run of the game proved to be enough for the Royals.
The Indians had their main chance in the sixth inning, when the Royals starter Luis Mendoza started to fade. The Indians loaded the bases with nobody out, and Mendoza was pulled in favor of Tim Collins. Travis Hafner, who has to this point been the Pronk of old, hit what on many summer days would have been at least a two-run double, but it was caught on the warning track in left-center field. A run would score, but nothing more. The Indians also got the tying runs on base in the eighth inning, but Jack Hannahan flew out to end the inning.
As an aside, both Alcides Escobar and Eric Hosmer should win Gold Gloves this season if healthy. Not many many cheap singles got through the infield this series, mostly due to the tremendous range of the Royals' shortstop and first baseman. If Kansas City ever figures out their rotation, they'll play with anyone in the AL.