Kansas City, Missouri — On Thursday night, fans at the Kauffman Stadium were present at a lengthy MLB match, with the game between the home team KC Royals and Cleveland Indians lasting just under five hours, going beyond midnight. The game ended 5–4 to Cleveland, with The Tribes’ Jose Ramirez, third baseman, being the shining star.
Ramirez has hit his form and is currently unstoppable, it seems. The Indians took the final lead in the 14th, after Ramirez hit a homer. That winning homer was his sixth home run for the month. Ramirez showed he was in fine form once again, as this homer meant he topped his tally for the season’s opening three months, during which he had five in total. This resulted in The Tribe’s best run in the season. The team’s record in July is 15–4, which represents the majors’ second-best.
Terry Francona, the Indians’ manager, talked to the media after the game. The manager applauded Ramirez for his efforts, claiming that the baseman was in good mental and physical state. According to Francona, Ramirez is confident about his game, which brought them the win when, without that self-belief, they would have probably ended up on the losing side.
Ramirez produced a double twice and increased his batting average up to .240, which is his season-high. Despite not hitting the ground running and having a stagnant opening to the season, Ramirez peaked in July, with his hitting being at .338 this month.
Other Players’ Performances
Regarding other players’ performances, A.J. Cole made his first save since 2015. Back then, he pitched for the Nationals in just his second MLB appearance, and he had to wait four years for another save. The initial three batters reached under Cole, but he retired the following three. Cole ended the game by striking out their outfielder, Bubba Starling.
After Ramirez’s homer in the 14th, Jake Bauers sent Jason Kipnis home with a single. Bauers singled off Brian Flynn (2–2), which gave the Indians an insurance run, something which was imperative for them to keep the lead.
The Royals had a run in the 14th, thanks to a sacrifice fly by Jorge Soler.
Francona spoke positively about A.J. Cole as well. He admitted they put the pitcher in a predicament. He needed to close out a tight game after an entire week of not pitching. But Cole faced the challenge head-on and produced the goods.
The Indians’ first pitch of the game produced a home run from their shortstop, Franciso Lindor. The Indians remain second in the AL Central and are two wins behind the Minnesota Twins.
Cleveland’s bullpen was active in this game. Namely, they worked 8 2/3 innings, during which they conceded only four hits and one run. The Indians won with Nick Goody (2–0) producing two scoreless innings.
Speaking post game, Goody said that their bullpen performance in this match showed the Indians might have a championship-worthy team. According to Goody, when the team enters the 14th inning with everyone in the bullpen producing zeros, that’s a grand result and it’s what champions are made of.
This game also meant that Adam Plutko made a second straight start against KC. Plutko had three runs on seven hits in his 5 1/3 innings.
Lindor was the first to score with his 17th home run of the season. Nonetheless, shortly after, Hunter Dozier retaliated with his 16th homer in the bottom of the first. Dozier came up with a two-run hit, meaning that the Royals went ahead 2–1.
In a game full of twists, the Indians took the lead briefly, when they scored twice to make it 3–2 in the sixth. Nonetheless, in the bottom half of the sixth, the Royals tied. The following seven innings were scoreless, with both bullpens being at the top of their game.
In the 11th and 12th, Josh Staumont made a league debut for the Royals. He produced two scoreless innings.
Afterwards, he was proud of his achievement as, in Staumont’s own words, he put a lot of effort and dedication into reaching the level required to play for an MLB team. He couldn’t describe the feeling and experience of just standing there.
Scott Barlow and Kevin McCarthy threw two scoreless innings each. Bubba Starling had three hits, which was his career-high. Starling’s current hitting streak lasts nine games, with the first one being his second career game.
In a game full of individual records broken, Mike Montgomery pitched five innings during which he allowed only one run on five hits, which equaled his longest outing in this season. Since his trade, when he parted from the Chicago Cubs, this was Montgomery’s second Royals start. This meant that Royals starters have a 6–2 record since July 15, with the ERA being 2.45.
Montgomery talked about progressing off the pitch. His physical condition is improving, as he feels stronger in his legs, although he still believes there’s a road ahead of him until he reaches the condition he wants.
Indians’ outfielder, Tyler Naquin, wasn’t available for the third game running due to a muscular complaint in his right hamstring. However, he’s nearing a return, as manager Francona claimed he would probably be ready for the Friday game. Naquin worked on some running during the outfield pregame. Dan Otero, who suffers from inflammation in the right shoulder, played one inning for Triple-A Columbus the day before. Despite this, the following day, Otero told the Indians he wasn’t yet ready to play against the Royals. Francona told the media that they’re trying to find a solution.
Friday night will see the Royals and Indians play in the second installment of their four-game series. Jakob Junis (6–8) will start for Kansas City, while Zach Plesac (4–3) will be his Cleveland counterpart. Junis fathered a third child, which signified his name showed up on the paternity list. During the ongoing season, he allowed three runs in 20 innings, which comes top in his career. Plesac, who was the winning pitcher on Sunday, with six innings of two-run ball, will appear in his second start in a row against Kansas City.