Jimenez, Tribe shut down Royals

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ubaldo Jimenez pitched Monday night the way the Cleveland Indians hoped he would when they acquired him in a July 31, 2011, trade with the Colorado Rockies.

Jimenez gave up three hits in seven-plus innings, and Ryan Raburn went 4-for-4 with two home runs as the Indians whipped the Kansas City Royals 9-0 Monday night to split a four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

"I had my fastball, my breaking ball working," Jimenez said. "In the bullpen, my fastball was running a lot. You have to take advantage of that. All of them were two-seamers."

Billy Butler's infield single with two outs in the fourth was the only hit Jimenez allowed in the first seven innings. Mike Moustakas doubled and Jeff Francoeur singled to open the eighth. Nick Hagadone replaced Jimenez and did not allow either of the inherited runners to score.

Jimenez was a 19-game winner in 2010 with the Rockies after winning 15 the previous season. He has not, however, pitched well for the Tribe, going 14-23 with a 5.48 ERA over three seasons. He was at his best against the Royals.

"I think with this, we went all the way past encouraged and straight to excited," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He had life on his fastball. All of his off-speed pitches were working. Hitters had to respect everything, and I think you saw that. They rolled over on some pitches and were late on fastballs and hit grounders."

Raburn hit a three-run shot, his first home run since May 15, in Cleveland's six-run fifth to break the game open and knock out Royals starter Wade Davis (2-2). Raburn also homered in the eighth off reliever Kelvin Herrera.

It was Raburn's fourth career four-hit game, matching his career high, and his fifth two-homer game.

"It's been awhile," Raburn said, thinking back to when he had a game like Monday's. "You take them as they come and enjoy the night. You try to do whatever you can to help the club, so a night like this is great. I'm trying to take my at-bats up there when I get them. You get a little lucky every once in a while."

Jimenez (1-2) entered the game with a 10.06 ERA on the season, and he had given up 18 runs on 13 hits and nine walks in 11 innings in his previous three starts. He baffled the Royals, getting 11 groundball outs, striking out four and walking two while throwing 69 strikes in 103 pitches.

"He was really good," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The guys were coming back saying his fastball has got a lot of movement on it. He just shut our offense down. He was getting ahead and throwing strikes with tremendous movement on his pitches."

Moustakas said, "He got ahead of us early and mixed his pitches well. That's a great pitcher out there. His track record speaks for itself. We had an off day. He was mixing in three or four pitches. He had a good sinker with good action. He was getting ahead 0-1 and putting us in a hole nearly every at-bat."

The Indians' 14-hit attack included a Jeff Kipnis home run. Michael Brantley went 3-for-5 with two doubles and scored two runs.

Kipnis, who entered the game hitting .180 with three doubles being his only extra-base hits, homered in the first. The Indians had an opportunity at a bigger inning with an Asdrubal Cabrera walk and singles by Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, however, threw out Cabrera at the plate when Cabrera attempted to score from second on Reynolds' hit.

The Indians scored another run in the third, when Brantley led off with a double and scored on Cabrera's single.

The six-run fifth inning included run-producing doubles from Cabrera and Carlos Santana, plus an RBI single from Reynolds.

Davis faced 25 batters, and 15 reached base -- 12 hits and three walks. He yielded eight runs in 4 2/3 innings to balloon his ERA from 3.20 to 5.55.

"I put myself in some spots," Davis said. "I've got to do better. "My pitch selection was probably off here and there. I made some bad decisions and didn't execute. They hit some good pitches and got runners on, and I made some bad pitches they hit better."

NOTES: Right-hander James Shields will start Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays, who traded him in December to the Royals. "Obviously, it is going to be a little weird facing my old team," Shields said. "I was with them for 12 years. It's kind of understandable that it's going to feel a little different. It'll be exciting. It's definitely going to be fun." ... The Indians will recall right-hander Trevor Bauer on Wednesday and start him against Philadelphia. ... The Phillies will start two former Cy Young Award winners against the Indians, Roy Halladay on Tuesday, Cliff Lee on Wednesday.
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
View Comments