Indians pound Royals 8-0 to avoid 3-game series sweep
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Indians had just been beaten by the Royals in two wildly different games, the first a shutout and the second a shootout, and manager Terry Francona wanted to see a little spark from his club.
It came Sunday along with some lightning.
Roberto Perez and Daniel Robertson delivered two-run doubles just before a long rain delay washed out both starters, and the Indians rolled to an 8-0 victory to avoid the series sweep.
“It’s one game but we needed to bounce back from yesterday and we did,” Francona said. “I thought it was important — just the way we played was much better.”
Perez, Robertson and the Indians battered Eric Skoglund (1-1) in the second before rain and lightning moved in during the bottom half. The tarp was pulled out and the game was halted for 1 hour, 50 minutes.
When it resumed, the Indians quickly tacked on runs to put it away.
Dan Otero (1-0) replaced Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer after the delay and allowed one hit over 2 1/3 innings to earn his first win since Sept. 22, when he also beat Kansas City in relief.
“De-facto starter, kind of,” Otero said with a smile, describing his role. “Fortunately our offense put up four runs in the top half, which was nice.”
Jason Kipnis homered and drove in two for the Indians. Robertson finished with three RBIs.
The only bright spot for the Royals was second baseman Whit Merrifield, whose three hits extended his streak to 19 games. That’s the longest hit streak in the majors this season and longest by a Royals player since Alex Gordon managed the same in April 2011.
Skoglund had dazzled in his big league debut last week, outdueling Justin Verlander in a 1-0 victory over Detroit. But the 24-year-old left-hander didn’t fare nearly as well in his encore.
He worked around a double in the first, but a leadoff single and one-out walk in the second caused more trouble. Perez followed later with a double to score the game’s first runs. Kipnis then drew a walk and Robertson added his double to give Bauer a big cushion.
“It just shows how important first-pitch strikes are,” Skoglund said. “It’s something you have to do up here to be successful and consistent. Hopefully, I can just bounce back from that.”
Bauer allowed two hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings before the rain knocked him from the game.
“Trevor was more than willing to go back out,” Francona said, “but it didn’t make much sense.”
STATS AND STREAKS
Royals 1B Eric Hosmer has reached base in 36 straight home games, the longest streak since Carlos Beltran matched a club record with 44 straight from 2001-02. ... Kipnis has hit seven homers this season. Six have been solo shots. ... Perez’s double was his second extra-base hit this season.
Indians INF/OF Lonnie Chisenhall (concussion) reported no problems during his first rehab game at Double-A Akron. He planned to DH on Sunday before rejoining the Indians on Tuesday in Colorado.
TIP OF THE CAP
The pregame buzz in the Royals clubhouse centered on former starter Edinson Volquez tossing a no-hitter for the Marlins on Saturday. Volquez was close to Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura, who was killed in an offseason car crash in the Dominican Republic and would have been 26 on Saturday.
“I just know the timing of it was very, ‘Whoa,’” manager Ned Yost said. “Eddie and Yordano were as close as anybody in that locker room. Eddie really was serious about taking care of him, mentoring him and being a friend to him. It was just a neat occurrence.”
Cleveland takes a day off Monday before sending RHP Mike Clevinger to the mound in a two-game set against the Rockies. The Indians have another day off Thursday before returning home.
Kansas City begins a four-game series against Houston on Monday night. RHP Ian Kennedy gets the start in the last series between the clubs this season.
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