Jose Ramirez belted the go-ahead homer to ignite a three-run sixth inning as the host Cleveland Indians posted a 5-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon.
Francisco Lindor launched a two-run homer, and Kevin Plawecki and rookie Oscar Mercado each added an RBI single for the Indians, who won the rubber match of the series to improve to 13-3 in their past 16 games.
Rookie Zach Plesac (4-3) overcame a rocky start to allow two runs on four hits with six strikeouts in six innings to pick up the win.
Kansas City’s Jorge Soler crushed a solo homer in the third inning and made a leaping catch to deny Jason Kipnis’ bid for the same to lead off the fourth inning.
Bubba Starling belted his first career homer and Cheslor Cuthbert recorded a pair of two-out RBIs for the Royals, who fell for just the second time in their past seven contests.
Ramirez rebounded after seeing his 11-game hitting streak halted on Saturday by depositing an 0-2 slider from Glenn Sparkman (3-6) over the wall in right field to give Cleveland a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. Ramirez’s homer was his 10th of the season and second in four contests.
The Indians tacked on two more runs as Plawecki singled to left field to drive in Jake Bauers before coming home on Mercado’s hit to center.
Cuthbert trimmed Cleveland’s lead to 5-3 in the eighth inning with an RBI single to center field, and Starling homered off Brad Hand to lead off the ninth. Hand, however, struck out the next three batters to secure his 27th save.
Kansas City scored in the first inning for the third time in the series after Hunter Dozier worked a two-out walk before coming home on Cuthbert’s double to left.
The Royals doubled the advantage in the third inning after Soler sent a 1-2 fastball from Plesac over the wall in right-center field. The homer was Soler’s team-leading 27th of the season and third against the Indians this season.
Cleveland answered in the bottom of the third as Plawecki reached base on a throwing error from shortstop Humberto Arteaga before Lindor launched a 1-0 slider from Sparkman over the wall in right field.
—Field Level Media