CLEVELAND — When Andrew Miller entered in the seventh inning of the Indians’ matchup against the Royals on Friday night, he looked to be his normal, untouchable self. After issuing a leadoff walk to Jon Jay, Miller responded by striking out Jorge Soler and Mike Moustakas.
Enter Salvador Perez.
The All-Star catcher added another chapter to his heralded Royals career with a two-out two-run home run off Miller, the deciding runs in a 10-9 victory in the series opener at Progressive Field.
Not only did Perez’s home run put the Royals ahead for good, it also helped them overcome another rough outing by a starting pitcher. Right-hander Jason Hammel gave up nine runs over 3 2/3 innings, and his outing was punctuated with a grand slam by Michael Brantley on the final pitch he threw.
Relievers Tim Hill, Burch Smith, Keller and Kelvin Herrera combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Keller (1-0) was arguably the most impressive, scattering two hits over three scoreless innings to pick up his first Major League win.
Duda and Alcides Escobar helped chip away at the Indians’ lead. Escobar drove in runs in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings — matching a career-high four RBIs — while Duda hit three doubles, one of which drove in Moustakas in a three-run sixth inning.
Indians starter Trevor Bauer had a rough outing as well, allowing five runs over 4 2/3 innings in his worst start of the year. Yonder Alonso and Jose Ramirez both hit home runs in the first inning, while a two-run double by Tyler Naquin and Brantley’s slam accounted for the Indians’ scoring in the fourth.