Game Recap 7/9/23 | Guardians Lose 4-1 to Royals

July 9, 2023

Andy Billman

Observations from the Game

3 things about Guardians Loss to Kansas City Royals

1 – Bieber busted

Shane Bieber came into today’s start against Kansas City never losing to them, but heading into the all-star break that has changed.  Bieber unraveled in the 6th as the Royals got three straight 2-out hits, scoring three runs, and putting up the Royals for good. 

Bieber went 6 1/3 innings giving up four earned while striking out six.

2 – RISP

The difference in the game today was hitting with runners in scoring position.  KC went 4 for 8 while Cleveland went 1 for 7. 

3 – Base running blunder.

Amed Rosario was on first when Josh Naylor hit a single into left, and Rosario tried to go from first to third but was thrown out after an umpire review.  The next batter, Andres Gimenez, hit a double that would have scored Rosario if he stayed at second.   The inning ended with no runs for Cleveland. 

Game Summary

In his triumphant return with the Kansas City team, Ryan Yarbrough secured his first victory after a harrowing incident where he was struck in the face by a line drive two months ago. The Kansas City Royals put an end to their six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, finally overcoming their struggles against Shane Bieber.

Yarbrough, who endured multiple facial fractures from the line drive that clocked in at 106.2 mph on May 7 against Oakland, displayed resilience as he worked his way back into the game. The left-handed pitcher showcased his skills by limiting the Guardians to just one run and six hits over six innings.

Carlos Hern√°ndez contributed two scoreless innings on the mound, while Scott Barlow secured his 11th save, although not without some tense moments. Barlow allowed a pair of two-out singles, causing some unease, but the tide turned when Royals center fielder Kyle Isbel sprinted to his left, making a remarkable diving catch to rob Myles Straw, securing the final out and preventing a winless road trip for Kansas City.

During the pivotal sixth inning, Michael Massey smashed a two-run triple, propelling Kansas City to a three-run lead against Shane Bieber (5-6). This victory marked a significant milestone as Bieber had previously enjoyed an undefeated record of 6-0 in 14 career starts against the Royals. The right-hander struggled, allowing four runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Isbel, already having an impact with his incredible catch, further contributed to the team’s success by hitting a home run in the fifth inning, evening the score at 1-1. In the same inning, Bieber inadvertently hit Salvador Perez with an 0-2 pitch, allowing the All-Star catcher to cross the plate on Freddy Fermin’s double. Isbel followed with a single, and Massey extended the lead to 4-1 with a two-out triple expertly placed into the right-field corner.

This victory was a much-needed boost for the struggling Kansas City Royals, who entered the All-Star break with a 26-65 record, the second-highest number of losses before the break in franchise history. On the other hand, the Cleveland Guardians reached the unofficial midpoint of the season in first place in the AL Central, maintaining a .500 (45-45) or better record for the seventh consecutive year.

The future remains uncertain for Bieber, the 2020 Cy Young Award winner. The Guardians are contemplating trading the 28-year-old pitcher, whose contract is set to expire after next season, before the August 1 deadline. Cleveland may be tempted to make a move if the right package is offered, whether to strengthen their team for the current season or to benefit their future endeavors.

Bieber showcased his resilience by pitching his way out of a challenging situation in the fourth inning. After surrendering a one-out double to Bobby Witt Jr. and a single to Salvador Perez, he struck out MJ Melendez looking and forced Freddy Fermin to swing at a knuckle curve in the dirt for a strikeout, effectively ending the threat.

However, Bieber’s valiant efforts were overshadowed by the Royals’ determined performance, culminating in their hard-fought victory against the Guardians.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Josh Bell (knee soreness) was held out of the starting lineup after fouling a ball off his knee in Saturday’s win. He pinch-hit in the seventh and grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Up Next

Friday 7/14 8:05 PM EST – Game 1 of 3 at Texas Rangers

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