Payamps, Royals pitchers key twin-bill sweep

CLEVELAND — A Monday that started with Salvador Perez making history ended with the Royals sweeping the Indians in a doubleheader at Progressive Field.

After Brady Singer’s complete game (seven innings) in the opener, five Royals relievers finished off the 4-2 win in Game 2. After losing their previous 11 games against the Indians, the Royals began this four-game series with two wins in one day, including a 7-2 victory in Game 1.

Kansas City had plenty of arms to use after Singer breezed through Game 1, needing 97 pitches for seven innings of two-run ball. The right-hander had his start pushed back from Friday to Monday because he missed time due to health protocols, but he returned not having skipped a beat.

Then two of the more underrated pickups by the Royals’ front office this season did their part in the nightcap. Joel Payamps, who was acquired from the Blue Jays for cash on July 21, started Game 2 and needed just eight pitches to get through the first inning. On Payamps’ 33rd and final pitch, with one out in the third inning, Andrés Giménez turned on a hanging slider for a moonshot of a home run into the right-field corner.

Domingo Tapia took over for Payamps and struck out four over his 1 2/3 perfect innings, flashing that swing and miss stuff the Royals knew he had when they acquired him from Seattle on May 22 for cash. Tapia was optioned to Triple-A Omaha when he arrived to the organization to work on his slider, but the Royals added him to their bullpen at the end of July — and he hasn’t looked back.