Andres Gimenez broke a tie with a three-run home run in the eighth inning as the host Cleveland Guardians defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-3 on Monday in the opener of a three-game series.
Even though they blew a two-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, the Guardians improved to 12-0 when leading after six innings.
Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. He leads the majors with 51 RBIs this season.
Nick Sandlin (4-2) got the Guardians out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the top of the eighth and earned the win.
Collin Snider (3-2) gave up three Cleveland runs in the bottom of the eighth and took the loss.
The Guardians won for the second time in three games while the Royals took their third loss in the past four contests.
Neither starter factored in the decision. Cleveland’s Zach Plesac allowed one run on five hits in six innings, striking out five and walking none. The Royals have never beaten Plesac. He is 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA in 11 lifetime starts against Kansas City.
Royals starter Jonathan Heasley worked a career-high six innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. He became the first Royals starter to complete six innings through the first seven games of the nine-game road trip.
Cleveland’s Myles Straw led off the first inning with a walk. He tagged and went to second on a flyball to center and scored on Ramirez’s line-drive single up the middle.
Emmanuel Rivera tied the game in the third with a 420-foot home run into the bleachers in left field.
The Guardians regained the lead in the fifth, again off the bat of Ramirez. Heasley grooved a fastball with two outs, a 3-2 count and Straw on second, and Ramirez landed it several rows deep in the seats in right. It marked the 10th time this season that Ramirez collected at least three RBIs in a game.
The Royals tied it in the eighth on RBI doubles by Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi.
The Guardians got their final run in the bottom of the eighth after Gimenez’s home run on a hit batter, a walk and an error.
–Field Level Media