EditorsNote: Tweaks throughout
Salvador Perez ripped a two-run home run in the seventh inning off Cleveland reliever Andrew Miller to cap the Kansas City Royals’ wild come-from-behind 10-9 victory over the Indians on Friday at Progressive Field in Cleveland in the first of a three-game series.
Miller, who had been activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, had allowed only one earned run in 45 appearances against teams from the American League Central division since the Indians acquired him at the 2016 trade deadline.
Perez doubled that with one swing of the bat.
Neither starting pitcher — Jason Hammel for the Royals or Trevor Bauer for Cleveland — was involved in the decision. Hammel was pummeled for nine runs on six hits, including three home runs, in 3 2/3 innings; Bauer surrendered five runs (four of them earned) on 11 hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.
Brad Keller (1-1), the fourth of five Kansas City pitchers, earned the win with three shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Kelvin Herrera hurled a perfect ninth for his eighth save of the year.
Miller (1-1) took the loss for Cleveland, after allowing two runs on one hit in two-thirds of an inning.
Jose Ramirez hit a two-run home run in the first, and two batters later, Yonder Alonso hit a solo shot that staked the Indians to a 3-0 lead.
Kansas City answered in the top of the second with an RBI single by Alcides Escobar and a two-run double from Jon Jay to tie the game. The Royals took the lead in the third on a bases-loaded walk to Escobar that pushed across Perez.
Cleveland seemed to take charge in a six-run fourth inning that was highlighted by Tyler Naquin’s two-run double and Michael Brantley’s grand slam, giving the Indians a 9-4 lead.
But the Royals roared back again, scoring on Escobar’s groundout in the fifth, and in the sixth, getting run-scoring doubles by Mike Moustakas and Lucas Duda. Escobar later added an RBI single to get to within 9-8.
Perez then put Kansas City back in front 10-9 on his two-run home run.
The series continues on Saturday afternoon with right-hander Jakob Junis (4-2, 3.18 ERA) taking the mound for the Royals to oppose Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-0, 2.76).
—Field Level Media