Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Chris Gimenez and Jayson Nix both clubbed a three-run homer and knocked in four runs total, as the Cleveland Indians pounded Kansas City, 15-4, in the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Matt LaPorta belted a three-run homer to fuel a six-run second inning for the Indians, while rookie Josh Tomlin (2-3) gave up three runs on eight hits and four walks in five innings to pick up the win.
“Needless to say, we swung the bats very well today. The long ball was huge for us,” said Cleveland manager Manny Acta.
Wilson Betemit hit a solo home run as part of a three-run fourth by Kansas City. Bryan Bullington (1-3) allowed seven runs on nine hits and three walks over four full frames to take the loss.
“When (the starting pitching) is not good, you’re going to be in trouble,” said Royals manager Ned Yost.
The Indians had scored seven runs over their previous six games and nearly matched that output in the second.
Travis Hafner led off the inning with a single and Nix followed with a double. Both runners then scored on LaPorta’s one-out blast to left field. Jason Donald singled and scored on a double by Gimenez, who came home on a single by Michael Brantley. Shin-Soo Choo capped the offensive surge with a two-out single that plated Brantley.
The Royals halved their deficit in the fourth. Alex Gordon walked after Betemit went deep to begin the inning and took third on a double by Willie Bloomquist before scoring on a one-out single by Yuniesky Betancourt. Kansas City trailed 6-3 after Gregor Blanco’s two-out single drove in Bloomquist.
Cleveland got a run back in the bottom of the fourth as Nix doubled home Choo.
Kanekoa Texeira replaced Bullington to start the fifth and yielded Gimenez’s home run, which followed a leadoff walk to LaPorta and a single by Donald.
Nix’s round-tripper came off Greg Holland in the eighth. Brantley lifted a sacrifice fly and Asdrubal Cabrera stroked an RBI double later in the inning.
The Royals pushed across a run in the ninth on a single by Chris Getz.
The Indians set a season high in runs…Donald and Blanco both had four hits for their respective clubs…Kansas City finished 4-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded a season-high 16 men on a base.