Well it only took 21 months, but we finally saw the Ubaldo Jimenez the Indians thought they were getting where they traded for him back in July 2011. And it only took 21 games but the Tribe offense that we expected finally seems to have showed up.
Jason Kipnis got the offense going in the top of the when he hit with his first home run of the season to the deepest part of Kaufmann Field. The would tack on another ruin in the 2nd inning when Michael Brantley, who had doubled, scored on an Asdrubal Cabrera single to left. Cabrera was 2-for-3 on the night and is now 8 for his last 17.
The Tribe then blew the game wide open in the 5th inning. Brantley, who was 3-for-6, doubled down the right field line. Kipnis followed with a walk. Cabrera then lack a double down the line in right, plating Brantley and moving Kipnis to 3rd. Mark Reynolds followed a Nick Swisher grounds with a great piece of hitting as a blooped a single to right that scored Kipnis. Cabrera would score on a Carlos Santana double. Ryan Raburn would cap off the 6th run inning with a bomb to left field that would chase Royals starter Wade Davis (2-2 5.55 ERA) from the game.
The Indians would get on the board again in the 8th, as Raburn homered again, this time an opposite field job to right. Raburn’s 2nd home run of the night, capped off a 4-for-4 performance by the right fielder.
The story of the night was Ubaldo Jimenez, who had his best start as an Indian. He had no hit caliber stuff, reaching 96 on the radar gun. It was start that was reminiscent of early in the 2010 season, when he started that year 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA. He pitched shut out baseball into the 8th inning, giving up just 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4, and picked up his first win of the year. He also lowered his ERA from 10.06 to 7.13. In his prior 2 starts combined 6 2/3 innings. It was only the 10th time in 48 starts for the Tribe that Jimenez pitched at least 7 innings.
Jimenez appeared to run out of gas in the 8th. He gave up a leadoff double to Mike Moustakas and the Jeff Francour followed with a single. Nick Hagadone came in and shut the door, striking out 2 while getting to 95 mph on the radar gun. Cody Allen piched a 1-2-3 9th to close out the win for the Tribe, who improved to 10-13. The Royals fell to 13-10
The Indians now head back to Cleveland for a short 2 game series with the Philadelphia Phillies. Tuesday’s probables are Roy Halladay and Corey Kluber. Cliff Lee and Trevor Bauer are scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.