By Jeffrey Flanagan and August Fagerstrom
CLEVELAND -- The Royals started this three-game series with a bang, belting two homers, including a three-run shot by Eric Hosmer in the first inning as part of his four-RBI night, in a 9-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night at Progressive Field.
Indians rookie Cody Anderson struggled for a second consecutive outing, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings with two walks. The Royals were aggressive against the strike-throwing righty, with four of his eight hits allowed coming on the first pitch, including home runs by Hosmer and Omar Infante.
"I knew the scouting report, that they were going to come out swinging and early in the count, I just didn't make my pitches down in the zone," Anderson said. "Sometimes you can use that against them if you locate, but I didn't do that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED The Hoz blast: The Royals wasted little time in the first against Anderson as Mike Moustakas singled, Lorenzo Cain walked and Hosmer wallopped an opposite-field homer to left-center to give the Royals an early 3-0 lead. Hosmer wasn't finished, either. He singled in another run in the fifth -- he now has two four-RBI games this year -- and singled and scored in the seventh. More >
"That got us going right away," Yost said.
Added Volquez, "It's always good to pitch with a lead early. We got those four runs early. That's nice."
Shot down: The Indians looked like they might answer Kansas City's three-run first inning when they put two of their first three runners aboard. David Murphy then hit a fly ball to center and Jason Kipnis tagged from third, but he was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
"That was a really good throw," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That's part of what they do. But I would have sent him, too."
Clearing the wall: The Indians entered Monday with just 11 home runs in the month of July, fewest in the Majors. Santana added to that total in the second inning with a mammoth shot to center, cutting the deficit to 4-1. Lindor's three-run homer in the seventh capped the scoring.
"I thought we had good energy," Francona said. "We got out-played, that's going to happen. We gotta show up every day and continue to try to get better in every area of the game, myself included. When you do that, it doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth."
Oh my, Oh Mar: Infante has been the subject of Twitter criticism by Royals fans much of the year for his lack of offense. But Infante belted his first homer of the season in the second inning. It was Infante's first homer since Aug. 13, a span of 480 at-bats. He did hit a homer in the 2014 World Series, though.
"Omar has been swinging the bat a little better lately," Yost said. "He has that sneaky pop. He can reach out and hit one once in awhile."
ROYALS WIN CHALLENGE
The Royals challenged in the fifth inning when Alcides Escobar originally was ruled out on a potential double to left. Indians left fielder Michael Brantley retrieved the ball and made a pinpoint throw to second, where Kipnis put on a quick tag. Following a review, the call was overturned and Escobar had a two-base hit.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Chris Young gets the ball for the middle game of this road series on Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. CT. Young has one start against the Tribe this season, a 6-2 loss on June 4. Young appears to be in a battle for the fifth spot in the rotation with Jeremy Guthrie now that Johnny Cueto has joined the club.
Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer starts the rematch of this series at Progressive Field on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. He's looking to right the ship after allowing 11 earned runs in his last 10 innings. Bauer is 1-0 in two starts against the Royals this season with five earned runs in 12 2/3 innings.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.