EditorsNote: Corrects to “three batters later” in graf 5; other minor edits
Francisco Lindor belted a two-run homer to highlight a four-run second inning as the host Cleveland Indians recorded a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Friday.
Cleveland’s Tyler Naquin also drove in two runs, and Carlos Santana had two singles to post his seventh multi-hit performance in 12 contests.
The offense proved to be enough for the Indians, who snapped a three-game losing skid overall and improved to 11-6 against the Royals this season.
Rookie Zach Plesac (7-4) allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win. The 24-year-old improved to 3-0 in four starts against Kansas City this season, including permitting a total of three runs (two earned) and 10 hits in 13 innings in two wins last month.
Plesac breezed through the first five innings Friday before Nicky Lopez singled to lead off the sixth. Hunter Dozier followed three batters later with an RBI triple to trim Cleveland’s lead to 4-1 after the ball bounced past diving rookie center fielder Oscar Mercado.
Two relievers bridged the gap to Brad Hand, who rebounded after blowing his previous three save opportunities by working around a leadoff single in the ninth inning to secure his 30th save of the season.
Cleveland answered being shut out for the 11th time this season in Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the New York Mets by erupting for four runs in the second inning.
Jason Kipnis singled and Franmil Reyes doubled off the wall to lead off the second against Jakob Junis (8-12) before Naquin plated them both with a single to right field.
Lindor doubled the advantage just two batters later after hitting an 0-2 fastball over the wall in right-center field. The homer was the 22nd homer of the season for Lindor and his fourth versus Kansas City.
Junis’ streak of eight straight starts of pitching six or more innings ended. The 26-year-old allowed four runs on six hits in four innings, walking two and striking out four.
—Field Level Media