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Tribe Falls to Royals 5-2; Three Takeaways From The Loss

2. Salazar’s Continued Struggles

With the loss, Salazar dropped to 3-5 on the year with a 5.50 ERA.

Salazar is now 7-7 against the Royals in his career, and 0-2 against them in 2017 (his first loss came on May 5 in Kansas City).

All three of Salazar’s earned runs came in the sixth inning today, while he only gave up one unearned run in the first on a sacrifice fly from Salvador Perez that plated Escobar.

Salazar also gave up five walks and notched only four strikeouts in his five and one-third innings. He has now gone five straight games without completing six innings.

“I’m working on some things and I’m feeling better on the mound. I think I still need to work on the walks, and focus in more on home plate,” Salazar said.

What made this game so atypical for Salazar is the fact that throughout 2017 he has usually struggled early and then has gone on to find his footing in later innings.

Coming in to Saturday, Salazar had an 8.0 ERA in innings 1-2, but that number was nearly cut in half to 4.03 in innings 3-7.

“I still think he didn’t command the ball where he wanted to,” Francona said when asked about Salazar’s performance.

“We’ll kind of put our heads together and kind of see what’s the next best step for him. Because I think he’s probably searching a little bit too.

So what does this mean for Salazar as the season progresses? Francona was asked if there is a possibility that he could move to the bullpen as Corey Kluber works his way back into the rotation. While it was pretty clear that he didn’t like the question, he didn’t give a definitive answer one way or the other.

“Not in [the interview room] right now. I think we want to sit down and talk through things, because we want to help,” Francona said.

“We want to help him, we want to help our team, but that’s not the proper way to ever make a decision is in here and you guys could go tell him. That’s not how we would do things.”

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Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers the Cavs for SB Nation's Fear The Sword. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42

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