KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver said the key to winning is “pitching, fundamentals and three-run homers.”
Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona can go one better: grand slams.
Yan Gomes hit a grand slam in the sixth inning and the Indians rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 6-4 on Tuesday night.
The Indians lead the American League with eight grand slams and it was their second in two nights. Francisco Lindor hit one Monday.
“I’m glad,” Francona said. “I hope we have a ton more opportunities. I’m really happy about that. That’s really good for us.”
Edwin Encarnacion led off the sixth with a walk and Brandon Guyer was hit by Danny Duffy’s pitch. Yonder Alonso’s infield single loaded the bases before Gomes drove Duffy’s 1-0 changeup into the left-field bullpen.
“I hope it’s not contagious, because that means people are going up there looking to hit a grand slam,” Gomes said. “You really just want to get up there and try to keep the line moving. I hope if we get more bases-loaded (situations), we’re just able to drive more guys in, whether that’s a sac fly or a base hit or a grand slam.”
Gomes is 10 for 26 (.385) with three home runs and eight RBIs off Duffy.
Shane Bieber (4-0) allowed all the Kansas City runs in the first two innings, and remains undefeated in his first five big league starts.
“Things got a little ugly,” Bieber said. “They could have gotten a lot worse. I was trying to go out there and compete and move on to the next pitch.”
Chad Allen got the final four outs for his 17th save in 18 chances and his fifth of more than one inning. He stranded two runners in the ninth after a single and a walk.
Duffy (4-8) yielded six runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. He is 0-3 against the Indians this season and has lost eight in a row against them dating to May 6, 2015.
“It was belt high and right out over the plate for him to tattoo and that’s what he did,” Duffy said of the grand slam. “I hate that old song and dance these things happen, bull, but these things do happen. And it’s happened to us a lot lately. It’s really frustrating. I gave up six runs today, which means I didn’t pitch very well.”
It took Duffy 25 pitches to record an out with Lindor, Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez opening the game with singles. Ramirez’s single deflected off Duffy’s glove to score Lindor. Alfonso’s fly to center scored Brantley with the second run.
“The first inning was a grind for Danny, 36 pitches, but he really did a pretty good job of limiting the damage there with only two runs and kind of got on a roll,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Lucas Duda homered with Rosell Herrera, who had three hits, on board to tie it in the bottom of the first.
The Royals forged ahead 4-2 in the second. Whit Merrifield singled home Adalberto Mondesi and scored on Herrera’s two-out double.
The Royals lost for the 24th time in 29 games. They did manage 12 hits, ending a club record of 24 straight games without getting double-figure hits.
Indians: Recalled OF Greg Allen from Triple-A Columbus, where he was hitting .487 in a nine-game hitting streak at the time of the promotion. He hit .204 in 34 games earlier this season with Cleveland. “It definitely helps to have gone through it before,” Allen said. “That just comes with experience.”
Indians: They signed their first two draft picks, Canadian high school C Noah Naylor and Cumming, Georgia high school RHP Ethan Hankins. Naylor, the 29th overall pick, signed for $2,578,138, while Hankins, the 35th overall pick, signed for $2,246,022.
Royals: RHP Brady Singer, the 18th overall pick, signed for $4.25 million. He was the college player of the year, going 12-3 with a 2.55 ERA as a Florida junior.
Indians: OF Lonnie Chisenhall (strained left calf) was placed on the disabled list. This is the second straight year he has been set back by calf injuries. He missed 50 games earlier this season with a left calf injury. He was out most of the second half of last year with a right calf injury.
Guyer left in the ninth after fouling a pitch off his left knee. Francona said the X-rays were negative.
Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (strained left oblique) was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 30th. . 3B Mike Moustakas (lower back spasms) was a late scratch. Yost said his back tightened up after he lifted one of his children.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer is 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in two starts this season against the Royals.