CLEVELAND -- The Indians insist that the bad blood that boiled over in their previous meeting with the Royals is ancient history. Maybe so, but a few eyebrows were raised when Kansas City lefty Jonathan Sanchez hit Jason Kipnis with a pitch in the first inning of Tuesday's game at Progressive Field.
The players inside the Tribe's dugout did not think much of the errant offering, though.
"It never crossed anybody's mind," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He was just lacking control."
That was evident as Sanchez continued to labor throughout his outing during Cleveland's 4-3 victory on Tuesday night. The left-hander finished with seven walks and one hit batsman over 4 2/3 innings during which he threw only 56 of his 115 pitches for strikes.
As for the pitch that struck Kipnis in the first inning?
"That was a curveball," Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan. "That stuff is over and done with. We're just playing baseball."
The stuff Hannahan referenced occurred on April 14 in Kansas City. Sanchez hit Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch -- one season after breaking the Tribe right fielder's left thumb with an ill-fated offering -- leading to a bench-clearing incident. Later in the game, Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez hit Mike Moustakas with a pitch, earning an ejection and a five-game suspension.
Acta, Hannahan and Gomez were all tossed from that ballgame, which included two bench-clearing altercations. Only Gomez received a suspension from Major League Baseball, but Hannahan and closer Chris Perez were each hit with fines. Perez's fine stemmed from a postgame tweet in which he wrote, "You hit us, we hit you. Period."
Acta noted that Sanchez was simply wild with his pitches.
"A lot of these guys, they just don't see what we see as coaches at times," Acta said. "He was missing a lot around the strike zone. He was effectively wild [Tuesday], basically. I think after last time, they grasped it. There are times when he's going to be a little erratic."