CLEVELAND -- Eric Hosmer got the Royals doing what they do best this season: Ambush opponents early.
Hosmer delivered a three-run homer to left-center field in the first inning, setting the tone in a 9-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night. The Royals now have outscored their opponents, 69-34, in the first inning.
That strike-quick approach was especially the plan against Indians rookie Cody Anderson.
"We put some good swings early on them," Hosmer said. "You just watch video of him and for the most part we knew he'd be around the plate. We're an aggressive team and we wanted to jump on him and get [Edinson] Volquez a lead, and we were able to do that. Just another good team victory."
And even though the Indians have struggled mightily this year, Hosmer and the Royals don't take them lightly.
"I felt we had to do jump on them early," Hosmer said. "They always play us tough and I know they were trying to bounce back from a tough series [a four-game sweep by the White Sox]. We really wanted to come out and do some damage early."
For Hosmer, that meant not trying to overswing. He seems to be at his best when he goes the opposite way on a regular basis. He also had two other hits, drove in four runs and is hitting .308.
"When I start pulling balls all the time, that's when my swing gets out of whack," Hosmer said. "But when I stay centered on fastballs and go center-left, that's when it works for me."
Hosmer homered to the same part of Progressive Field when the Royals were here earlier this season.
"You see the ball here good and in the summer time, the ball flies pretty well," he said.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.