CLEVELAND — For the first four innings of Monday’s Indians-Royals game, the entertainment on the field wasn’t provided by the players but by a squirrel.
During the second inning, a squirrel came out of left field at Progressive Field and made his way to the infield. A couple of the Indians bat boys tried to corral it before it darted toward first baseman Nick Swisher and then settled in right field.
The squirrel took in the Royals half of the second inning from different vantage points in the outfield. It ventured to center field during Salvador Perez’s at-bat and then was right behind shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera as he took in Mike Moustakas’ at-bat in left-center.
"I was just inviting him over. Hey, just come on over and sit in my glove and see what’s happening," Swisher said. "That was a big squirrel. It was so funny seeing all the grounds crew trying to wrangle that thing in."
At the end of the Royals’ second, the Indians ground crew got the squirrel into the Kansas City bullpen before it escaped again and settled in the outfield during the third. The ground crew got it into the Indians’ bullpen in center before the squirrel jumped the wall and ventured into the monument area in Heritage Park.
"He just wanted to hang around," Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said. "He didn’t want to leave. That was really funny. That’s bizarre stuff."
Bizarre, indeed — especially on the heels of a similar squirrel invasion that took place at Coors Field on Saturday: