By Jordan Bastian and Jeffrey Flanagan
MLB.com |@FlannyMLB |
CLEVELAND -- Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli homered, and the Indians used a fifth-inning rally to pull off a 5-4 comeback win over the Royals in a Mother's Day divisional clash on Sunday at Progressive Field.
With the win, the Tribe took two of three in the series and ended its homestand with a 5-1 showing against Detroit and Kansas City.
"It's huge, especially against division rivals," Indians reliever Bryan Shaw said. "Obviously, we've struggled a little with a lot of these guys the past couple of years. ... It's good to get some wins against these guys, especially for the standings and everything else within the division."
Santana and Napoli -- two of the eight Cleveland starters to use a pink bat -- both launched home runs off Royals starter Edinson Volquez, who was chased after 4 1/3 innings. Volquez was charged with five runs on seven hits, ending with four strikeouts and four walks in the loss.
"I was all over the place," Volquez said of his lack of command. "I really had a hard time to find any rhythm. I never felt comfortable on the mound. It's my fault. I wasted an opportunity to win the game."
Added manager Ned Yost, "First couple of innings, he was really good. But his pitch count got elevated and then they just found some holes in the fifth."
Indians righty Josh Tomlin improved to 5-0 after giving up four runs on seven hits in six innings. Three of Kansas City's runs off Tomlin came in the fourth, when Eric Hosmer came through with a towering, two-run homer that dropped into the center-field bullpens, and Salvador Perez chipped in an RBI double.
Tomlin improved to 12-0 in starts following an Indians loss, dating to the start of last season.
"It means I'm just doing my job," Tomlin said. "It means I'm going out there and giving them a chance to win, not always the best statistical-wise maybe, but it's a chance to win, and that's what a starting pitcher's job is. So, it feels good."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Leading off: Cleveland's early breakthroughs against Volquez came courtesy of a pair of leadoff blasts by Santana and Napoli. Santana's shot (his fifth of the year) in the first inning carried out to right field for a quick 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Napoli crushed a 3-2 pitch to the back of the Home Run Porch in left for his sixth blast of the year. According to Statcast™, Napoli's homer had an exit velocity of 110.9 mph, marking the hardest-hit long ball of the year for the Tribe.
"Carlos has that in him, for sure," manager Terry Francona said. "And Nap, I don't think it matters what ballpark you're in when he hits it like that."
Keeping 'em close: Left-hander Danny Duffy inherited a mess when he entered with two on and one out and the Royals trailing 4-3 in the fifth. After giving up an RBI double to Marlon Byrd, Duffy escaped further trouble by getting the next two hitters on groundouts. Duffy also picked up a teammate during the inning -- Hosmer dropped a foul pop by Santana for an error. But Duffy got Santana moments later on a groundout and the Royals stayed within two runs.
Shaw escapes: Kansas City threatened in the eighth, scoring one run on a double by Christian Colon to trim the Tribe's lead to 5-4. With one out and runners on first and second base, Francona turned to Shaw. Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar pounded a 1-1 outside pitch into the ground for a 4-6-3 double play that ended the inning. More >
"It was great," Shaw said. "You're looking for a ground ball in that situation, but you know, with it being first-and-second, I was just more trying to get an out -- get a fly ball, get whatever it was to get an out -- and then go on from there. But, we got the double play. It was good."
Big Sal delivers: Perez entered the game owning Tomlin -- a career .643 average (9-for-14). Perez continued the dominance by ripping that RBI double in the fourth, which snapped an overall 0-for-9 skid. Perez then cracked a double in the seventh and scored. Later in the inning, though, the Royals had the potential tying run at third with none out, but Cheslor Cuthbert was thrown out trying to score on Jarrod Dyson's grounder to shortstop Francisco Lindor. More >
"I just broke too late," Cuthbert said. "I wanted to see if the ball got past the pitcher and I broke too late."
"It didn't speed up on Frankie. He made a nice play," Francona said. "Because, if he tries to do too much and we don't get him, we're tied and there are runners all over the place. That brought the inning back to being manageable."
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Hosmer's fourth-inning homer was projected by Statcast™ to travel 447 feet from home plate, making it the longest home run of his career in the regular season (also the longest home run by a Royals hitter this season). Hosmer's longest homer ever was against the Astros in the postseason last year -- 453 feet.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the third inning, Santana drove a pitch into the defensive shift, but it went through the legs of Escobar. Colon, Kansas City's second baseman, was there to glove the grounder and made a quick throw to first base. Santana was initially ruled out, but Francona challenged the call. After a replay review, the ruling was overturned. Santana reached first on what was deemed an error by Escobar.
The Royals benefited from a huge overturned call in the fourth inning after Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a grounder to Colon with the bases loaded and two out. Colon's throw to Hosmer at first appeared to pull Hosmer off the bag and Kipnis was ruled safe. The Royals won the challenge and got out of the inning.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Chris Young (1-4, 5.76 ERA) starts for the Royals in the opener of a four-game road set against the Yankees on Monday at 6:05 p.m. CT.. He lost a 4-2 decision at Yankee Stadium last May, giving up seven hits and four runs through six innings.
Indians: Right-hander Corey Kluber (2-3, 3.35) is slated to take the mound as the Tribe opens a three-game road set with the Astros at 8:10 p.m. ET. Kluber is coming off a shutout win over the Tigers in his previous outing, and he has a 1.13 ERA in his last three turns.