KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 21: Casey Kotchman #35 of the Cleveland Indians misses the pitch from Luis Mendoza #39 of the Kansas City Royals in the seventh inning on Friday, September 21, 2012 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)
Justin Masterson would pitch a decent game, but the offense couldn't put together enough runs off Royals starter Luis Mendoza to take him off the hook. So Masterson left the game down 4-1, and although the Indians would score two in the seventh inning, it was too little, too late.
"Offensively, we continue to struggle, especially on our situational hitting," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "The first inning was a good situation where we could just take the lead, and who knew what would have happened after that. We failed to drive in the run with a runner on third and infield back."
The situation Acta is talking about was in the first inning, when Carlos Santana - the team's best hitter - came to the plate with runners on second and third with one out. Santana whiffed on an off-speed pitch, and after Michael Brantley was intentionally walked, Travis Hafner grounded out to end the inning. Instead of taking an early 1-0 or even 2-0 lead, the game was scoreles after a half-inning.
The Royals would take the lead in the second inning thanks to four singles and a wild pitch. A walk would come back to haunt Masterson in the third, as Kansas City would tack on another run. Masterson allowed his fourth run in the fifth inning, but the damage could have been much worse, as the Royals loaded the bases with nobody out.
The Indians would score a run in the second, and two in the top of seventh to make it a 4-3 game, but the Royals would respond with two in the eighth off Cody Allen to put the Indians away.
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