Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer, left, and catcher Yan Gomes, right, meet on the mound in the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
KANSAS CITY — The Indians 4-1 loss to the Royals on Wednesday can perfectly be summed up by the 20-second interaction that Trevor Bauer had with a Kansas City reporter.
Reporter: What bothers you most about this loss?
Bauer: "That we lost."
Reporter: The story behind it from your perspective?
Bauer: "The team lost."
Reporter: Can you elaborate?
Bauer: "We lost 4-1."
Bauer: "Next question."
Bauer could have elaborated a little further with this — the Royals took advantage of Tribe mistakes and didn’t give them the opportunity to get back in the game.
In the battle of the two hottest teams in the AL Central, the Royals have started to show over the past couple weeks why some pick them to either win the division or make the playoffs. They have won four of five and seven of their last nine.
After hitting three home runs on Tuesday night, Kansas City won on Wednesday with timely hitting and scored all their runs via sacrifice flies. It is the first time in team history when scoring three or more that they’ve gotten all their runs via sac flies.
In four of his five previous starts, Bauer recorded six strikeouts or more. He had only one on Wednesday. Of the 24 batters the right-hander faced, he got to two strikes 10 other times but four ended up either being hits or sacrifice flies to score Royals runs.
The Indians’ day can also be summed up with one play in the second inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Kansas City’s Omar Infante hit a high pop fly that shortstop Mike Aviles narrowly caught in shallow left after it got caught in sun. Aviles fell down and Alcides Escobar tagged up to score. Aviles threw from the ground as Bauer fielded the relay, but Bauer’s throw to Yan Gomes was high. Nori Aoki, who was on first, went all the way to third.
Said Aviles of the play: "It went right in the middle of the sun. I did my best job of securing the ball. I caught it on the ground and it was a heads up play on their part."
Escobar was 3 for 3 on the day and Mike Moustakas had two hits. Moustakas is hitting only .164 but he is 7 for 23 against the Tribe this season with three of the hits being home runs.
Trailing 4-1 in the eighth, the Indians loaded the bases with none out but Wade Davis got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a grounder. The top of the order with Michael Bourn, Lonnie Chisenhall and Michael Brantley went a combined 6 for 11 but the rest of the lineup was 2 for 24. Chisenhall, who upped his average to .393, extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine straight games.
As was the case on Tuesday, the Indians were stymied by a Royals’ starter. Yordano Ventura threw seven solid innings and allowed a run on six hits with no walks and three stirkeouts.
After taking three of four in Texas, the Indians are 3-3 on their current road trip with an important series coming up at Boston. They can ill afford to have a repeat of their last road trip when they won two of the first three games and then dropped the next four.