Hedges’ 11th-inning bloop lifts Indians over Royals 5-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Austin Hedges popped an RBI single just out of reach of first baseman Carlos Santana for the tiebreaking run in the 11th inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Wednesday night.
“I had a good feeling,” Hedges said with a wide smile after the game. “I was trying to hit the ball that way.”
Hedges’ bloop off Ervin Santana (1-2) fell in shallow right field, allowing pinch-runner Daniel Johnson to score from second. Yu Chang followed with a run-scoring double.
Taylor Stephen pitched a perfect bottom of the 11th for his first save. Blake Parker (2-0) got the win.
The Indians have now won 10 straight games over the Royals.
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the 10th. The Indians had the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the inning, but Franmil Reyes flew out. The Royals had the bases loaded with no outs against Parker in the 10th and couldn’t score.
“We like where we are right there,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “You can’t keep asking the exact same guy (Salvador Perez) to come through every single time. He’s been ridiculously consistent and off-the-charts good in those situations. We let it slip through our hands.”
Parker struck out Perez with no outs before getting the next two batters to pop out.
“I wanted to miss inside if I did miss,” Parker said about his approach to Perez. “Those are the moments that you live for. You want to be in the game when the game’s on the line. There is no other moment like that in the whole game.”
Kansas City’s Jackson Kowar allowed two unearned runs on five hits in six innings, lowering his ERA from 18.00 to 8.18. Cleveland’s Logan Allen retired his final 10 batters, allowing three runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings.
“What an amazing turnaround from when we last saw him,” Matheny said of Kowar. “He came out with confidence. He came out establishing not just a fastball but a very good fastball. If he starts mixing in the changeup and the slider, it’s going to be fun to watch Jackson pitch.”
The Royals got a run in the first on Michael A. Taylor’s sacrifice fly. Kansas City had the bases loaded with one out, but that’s all it could muster off Allen.
Adalberto Mondesi, making his first appearance since going on the injured list in mid-June, scored an unearned run in the second. He led a double steal with Hanser Alberto, then scored on a throwing error on catcher Hedges.
Mondesi unloaded a 422-foot home run in the fourth to give the Royals a 3-0 lead.
The Indians cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth on a two-base error by Taylor in center. Bradley Zimmer (walk) and Harold Ramirez (single) were on second and third with nobody out, and they scored when Gimenez’s drive deflected off the tip of Taylor’s glove in left-center.
Chang clubbed his first career pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning off reliever Jake Brentz to tie it at 3.
Indians: Indians C Roberto Perez had his first start in a rehab assignment in Double-A Akron on Tuesday. He has been on the injured list since Aug. 4 with right shoulder inflammation. He played five innings and went 3 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. ... Activated RHP Triston McKenzie and OF Ramirez from the 10-day injured list. With the Sept. 1 roster expansion, there were no corresponding moves. McKenzie went on the IL on Aug. 22 with right shoulder fatigue. He is scheduled to start for the Indians on Thursday. Ramirez has been on the IL since Aug. 12 with a right hamstring strain.
Royals: Mondesi missed 61 games with a left oblique strain. ... Kansas City recalled Kowar from Triple-A Omaha in time for Wednesday’s start. RHP Jakob Junis, who took the loss Tuesday, was placed on 10-day IL with right shoulder impingement syndrome. In a corresponding move, the Royals reinstated Brentz from the IL.
The teams conclude this three-game series Thursday. The Indians will send McKenzie (3-5, 4.83 ERA) to the mound. McKenzie is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in his career against the Royals. He’s struck out 32 Royals batters.
The Royals have not yet announced a starter.
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