Bonifacio stays hot with clutch go-ahead 2B

Bonifacio stays hot with clutch go-ahead 2B

CLEVELAND -- Back on May 6 when the Royals deemed outfielder Jorge Soler ready to be activated from the disabled list, they began debating the corresponding roster move.

Rookie Jorge Bonifacio's name immediately came up in discussions among manager Ned Yost and general manager Dayton Moore. Sending Bonifacio, who had options, back to Triple-A seemed logical.

It's a good thing the Royals didn't do the logical thing. Bonifacio has continued his amazing month with a clutch go-ahead two-run double on Friday night that steered the Royals to a 6-4 win over the Indians.

Bonifacio's go-ahead double

Bonifacio lined a 1-2 slider from Indians left-hander Andrew Miller into the gap in left-center, breaking a 4-4 tie. It came right after Salvador Perez popped up with runners on first and third and none out.

"The first pitch, I was sitting fastball," Bonifacio said. "After that, I was looking for his slider, his best pitch.

"It feels amazing. I hit in the winning run, that's great for us. I hit it off [Miller], one of the best in the game right now.

"I just feel like I had to pick Salvy up."

Since May 6, Bonifacio has hit .296 with an .870 OPS, including four home runs and 11 RBIs. Bonifacio basically has forced himself into the lineup ahead of Soler.

"We were really going to send Boni out," Yost said on May 6. "But then we decided we could mix him in enough."

The Royals instead optioned right-hander Miguel Almonte back to Double-A. Almonte since has been recalled.

Keeping Bonifacio was surprising. But fortuitous.

"I mean, it's true, it could have worked out that way, that we sent him back," Yost said. "But the main thing is, we wanted him to play.

"We started out this season with that same [four-outfielder] configuration, but it was Paulo Orlando [and Terrance Gore] before Paulo struggled. We were just mixing and matching.

"We knew [Boni] was going to play 3-4 times a week. We just didn't want to keep him to sit him on the bench ... but Boni has worked his way into more playing time."

As Lorenzo Cain said of Bonifacio, "He's just locked in, man. I wish I was locked in like that."

Alexander sent out
Left-hander Scott Alexander, recovering from a strained hamstring, was sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha on Friday. Omaha is playing at Nashville.

Alexander has thrown sides for the past week and he is expected to just have some tune-ups for Omaha before being activated.

"It will be good to get him back," Yost said. "He was able to take some pressure off [left-handers] Mike Minor and Matt Strahm in the back of the 'pen."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.