July 3rd, 2018 – Lindor Has 2 Hrs, 7 RBIs As Indians Beat Royals 9-3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Francisco Lindor had an exceptional Monday after a very good Sunday.
Lindor homered twice, including a grand slam, and finished with a career-high seven RBIs as the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 9-3 on Monday night.
On Sunday, he had two doubles and a solo homer in Oakland.
Lindor homered in the fourth after Yan Gomes singled and Jakob Junis hit Tyler Naquin and Rajai Davis with pitches. He added a three-run homer in the sixth to finish Junis’ evening.
“One was a changeup and the other one was a slider,” said Lindor, who has 23 home runs. “My approach is hit the ball and if it goes out it goes out. It was a good pitch to hit (on the grand slam). I was just trying to get one guy in. I’m not a power hitter. Just get a good pitch to hit and drive it.”
Lindor has 17 home runs and 54 RBIs in 54 games against the Royals.
“Just a routine day for him, today and yesterday,” Indians starter Corey Kluber said. “He continues to get better, which is kind of scary.”
Kluber (12-4), who failed to make it out of the second inning in his previous start at St. Louis, gave up two runs in the first, but little after that. He allowed three runs and seven hits, walked none and struck out five over six innings.
Davis had three hits and scored three runs.
“I got myself into trouble with a couple of hit batters and good teams are going to take advantage of that,” Junis said.
Junis (5-10) has lost his last seven starts and is tied with teammate Jason Hammel for most losses in the American League. He has yielded a major league-high 24 home runs, including 12 in his last five starts over 27 innings.
“You worry about his confidence more than anything else,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Again, it’s an easy fix. When you’re off the side of the slider, it’s gonna be a cement mixer. He started off good, just didn’t end that good.”
Whit Merrifield homered on Kluber’s third pitch for his fourth career leadoff home run. Salvador Perez singled home Mike Moustakas, who had doubled, in an 11-pitch at-bat for the other Kansas City run in the first.
Jorge Bonifacio logged his first RBI of the season in the Kansas City sixth after being suspended the first 80 games for taking a performance enhancing drug.
The Royals have lost 23 of their last 28 games. They are tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the most losses in the majors with 54. They scored four runs or fewer for the 23rd time in the last 24 games.
ROYALS SIGN FIRST-ROUND PICK
The Royals signed right-hander Jackson Kowar, a first-round compensation selection and the 33rd overall pick, to a $2.118.700 signing bonus. He went 10-5 with a 3.04 ERA as a Florida junior.
LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers. “If someone gave me $154 million I’d probably go somewhere too,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He did what he said he was going to do. He got them a championship. When you’re a free agent, you’ve earned that right. I will miss him, because I loved going to games when he played. It’s hard to begrudge somebody. He earned it.”
Indians: RF Lonnie Chisenhall was a late scratch with a strained left calf. Francona said Chisenhall would definitely go on the disabled list. … RHP Danny Salazar underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in Dallas. “It just kind of came to a point,” Francona said. “That’s the last option. You try everything else before you go into somebody’s shoulder. The good side is there was no structural (damage). The rotator cuff was good. They cleaned him out. It’s a shame we lost him for the whole year.”
Indians: RHP Shane Bieber is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his first four big league starts.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy is winless in six home starts this season, going 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA.
July 4th, 2018 – Bauer, Indians Beat Royals 3-2 For 3-Game Sweep
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Trevor Bauer made plenty of quality pitches, but it was Cleveland catcher Roberto Perez who made the best throw of the night.
Bauer pitched effectively into the eighth inning as the Indians beat the skidding Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Wednesday for a three-game sweep.
With the Royals trailing by one in the eighth, Whit Merrifield hit a leadoff double before Perez nabbed him attempting to steal third.
“It was a huge play,” Bauer said.
Merrifield, the 2017 AL stolen base champion, said he got a good jump
“They executed. I executed,” Merrifield said. “They got me this time. It was the right play. If I had a chance to do it again, I’d do it again.”
Perez gave credit to Bauer.
“He was thinking he was going to try and steal,” Perez said. “He called fastball up and in and I thought that was the game right there. That was on Bauer. He hit me right in the chest and I made a strong throw, and (Jose) Ramirez made a good tag on him. I was fired up.”
Michael Brantley had an early RBI double and the Indians scored all their runs in the first three innings on only one hit. Bauer struck out eight and walked one over 7 2/3 innings.
The plummeting Royals have lost six straight and 18 of 21. They have scored four or fewer runs in 25 of their past 26 games and are barely ahead of Baltimore for the worst record in the majors.
After winning on grand slams by Francisco Lindor and Yan Gomes the previous two nights, the Indians managed only four hits — two in the ninth inning.
Bauer (8-6) has struck out eight or more in eight consecutive starts. He allowed seven hits, six of them singles, and is 3-1 in his past four starts.
“It was frustrating in a lot of ways and I was happy the team won,” Bauer said. “I made some good pitches and gave up some weak hits. I had too many two-strike pitches put into play. I need to clean that up.”
Cody Allen worked the ninth to earn his 18th save in 19 chances. It was his 140th career save, breaking a tie with Bob Wickman for the club record.
Lindor walked to start the game, stole second and scored on Brantley’s double. Brantley went to third on Ramirez’s flyout and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s sacrifice fly.
The Indians manufactured a run without a hit in the second. Jason Kipnis and Tyler Naquin opened the inning with walks. Perez advanced both with a sacrifice bunt, and Greg Allen delivered a sacrifice fly.
Kansas City used a double steal to create a run in the second. Alex Gordon, who was hit by a pitch, and Hunter Dozier, who reached on an infield single, were at the corners with two outs. They pulled off a successful double steal, with Gordon scoring. It was Dozier’s first career steal.
The last Royals player to steal home was Alex Rios on July 20, 2015, against Pittsburgh, also as part of a double steal.
Alcides Escobar singled in the Kansas City fifth and advanced to third on Drew Butera’s one-out single. Escobar scored on Merrifield’s sacrifice fly.
Royals starter Trevor Oaks (0-2), recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take Ian Kennedy’s spot in the rotation, was removed after four innings and 73 pitches. He allowed three runs on two hits and four walks.
“The leadoff walks and not having good command, just really frustrating when I’ve walked like one or two guys an outing and now I’m back to four,” Oaks said.
Oaks had a 0.62 ERA in his last seven Triple-A starts. Kennedy went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.
THE HOT CORNER
Dozier made his first big league start at third base. Dozier played 401 games at third, starting 281, in the Royals’ minor league system. He had started 35 games at first base, two in right field and two as the DH this season.
Indians: OF Brandon Guyer (bruised left knee) did not play after fouling a pitch off his leg in the ninth inning Tuesday. X-rays were negative. … LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen Thursday. … LHP Tyler Olson (shoulder strain) threw 17 pitches for Triple-A Columbus on a rehab assignment. He retired two batters, walked one, struck out one and did not allow a hit.
Royals: 3B Mike Moustakas (back spasms) was held out of the lineup for the second straight game. “It’s not serious at all,” manager Ned Yost said. “He came in today and still felt it a little bit. With an off day tomorrow, there’s no sense in pushing it.” … OF Bubba Starling (oblique strain) was sent to the rookie-level Arizona League to begin a rehab assignment. Starling, a 2011 first-round draft pick, has not played since May 10 with Triple-A Omaha.
Indians: Open a homestand Friday against the Athletics with RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 4.24 ERA) starting. Oakland will counter with RHP Paul Blackburn (2-2, 6.46).
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-10, 5.56) starts Friday night against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium. LHP Chris Sale (8-4, 2.41) gets the ball for Boston.
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