EditorsNote: Clarifies in lead game was played in Kansas City; corrects Kluber strike total to 49 and adds he struck out four; other minor edits
Hunter Dozier’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth drove in Terrance Gore to give host Kansas City a 9-8 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, giving the Royals a three-game series sweep at Kauffman Stadium.
Gore, pinch-running for Ryan O’Hearn — who drew a leadoff walk off Brad Hand (0-1) — stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Roberto Perez. Wily Peralta (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the victory as Kansas City earned its first walk-off victory of the season.
The Indians had not been swept in a road series of at least three games since May of last year at the New York Yankees.
The Royals chased Corey Kluber after 2 2/3 innings. The right-hander allowed 11 of the 18 batters he faced to reach base safely.
Kluber gave up six runs on six hits and a career-most five walks. He threw 89 pitches, with only 49 of them for strikes (he struck out four). The five walks doubled Kluber’s season total. He didn’t walk more than three batters in any game in 2018, and he walked three only once.
Royals starter Jakob Junis battled through 6 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, but three of those runs were scored by the game’s first four batters. Leonys Martin led off the game with a home run to right-center field. It was the second time in five days that Martin homered to lead off a game. Four batters later, Tyler Naquin drove in Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Santana with a two-run single.
The Royals got to Kluber in the second. Lucas Duda hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to right field. With two outs, Whit Merrifield hit a home run to right, giving the Royals a 4-3 lead.
The four runs were the most the Royals have scored off Kluber since Aug. 2, 2012, when they scored six in the first in Kansas City. It was also the first time since that game that the Royals had hit two home runs off Kluber in the same inning (Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer).
Kluber wasn’t much better in the third, walking four batters, including two with the bases loaded.
The Indians scored again in the fourth, but Junis escaped with only two runs given up. The first three batters got hits and the Indians had first and third with no outs. But Junis induced a double-play ground out that scored the second run and then retired Martin to end the inning.
The Royals added a run in the fifth on a bunt single by catcher Cam Gallagher, and another in the sixth on a home run by Jorge Soler.
But the Indians tied the score with three runs off the Royals bullpen in the seventh. The final two were on a bases-loaded single by Jake Bauers.
—Field Level Media