KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Eddie Rosario watched anxiously as plate umpire Dan Bellino called a ball what could easily have been strike three, then swatted the next pitch into the right-field stands for a tiebreaking three-run homer Monday night that sent the Cleveland Indians to an 8-6 win over the Kansas City Royals.
Josh Naylor added a two-run shot off Royals reliever Jakob Junis (1-2) two batters later, turning what would have been a scoreless seventh inning with Rosario’s would-be punch-out into a five-run frame.
Bryan Shaw (1-0) coughed up a run in relief of Indians starter Aaron Civale. James Karinchak gave up Hunter Dozier’s two-run homer later in the seventh before their bullpen finally wrapped up their sixth win in eight games. Emmanuel Clase worked around a single in the ninth for his sixth save. He’s yet to allow an earned run in 13 1/3 innings. Naylor finished with three RBIs, and Franmil Reyes returned from the paternity list to drive in two more for the Indians. Whit Merrifield hit a two-run homer, and Jorge Soler drove in two runs for Kansas City.
Daniel Lynch, the latest in the Royals‘ promising pitching pipeline, had little to show for his solid big league debut. The No. 34 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Lynch overcame some early nerves to allow four hits and four walks and left to a standing ovation with a 3-1 lead. But the lanky left-hander also left two runners on with two outs in the fifth inning, and reliever Scott Barlow immediately
Gave up Reyes’ double to tie the game 3-all. The Royals wasted a chance to regain the lead and put pressure on Cleveland in the sixth. They loaded the bases with two outs before Andrew Benintendi hit a weak grounder to the right side of the infield to end the inning. In the seventh, the Indians had a pair of runners aboard with two outs when Rosario – with a 1-2 count on him – watched a pitch from Junis miss just outside. Rosario homered on the very next offering to give Cleveland its first lead at 6-3.