CLEVELAND — Less than 24 hours after the Royals launched a stunning five-run rally in the ninth to beat the Indians, they put another scare into the Tribe on Wednesday.
Cleveland bottled up the Royals’ offense for eight innings and led by four. The Royals once again stirred it up in the ninth, scoring two runs on Lucas Duda’s third homer this season and a pinch-hit RBI single by Alex Gordon.
The Royals had the tying run at the plate with two outs in Whit Merrifield, but he struck out to preserve the Indians’ 5-3 victory at Progressive Field.
The Royals didn’t get their first hit off Indians starter Trevor Bauer until there were two outs in the fifth, when Humberto Arteaga smacked a hard single into right field. Cam Gallagher followed with a single to right, then Billy Hamilton dropped a blooper down the left-field line for an RBI double.
But the Indians pecked away at Royals’ starter Jakob Junis from the start. Francisco Lindor led off the first with a single to right, then stole second and advanced to third on a bloop single by Carlos Santana. Lindor scored on a sacrifice fly by Jason Kipnis.
Lindor was at it again in the third with a leadoff double. He scored on Oscar Mercado’s single to right-center.
And in the fourth, the Indians flexed their muscles a bit as Jake Bauers belted his 10th home run on a 1-2 fastball from Junis. Moments later, Tyler Naquin drilled a 3-2 fastball from Junis for his sixth home run to make it 4-0.
Junis has given up 18 home runs this season, and 50 since the start of the 2018 season, second most in the Majors, behind only Dylan Bundy’s 58.