CLEVELAND— The Indians unleashed a week of pent-up offensive frustration upon the Kansas City Royals with a season-high 18 hits and four home runs in a 12-1 win on Wednesday afternoon at Progressive Field.
The outburst could also be viewed as a release stemming from an inability to score with Corey Kluber on the mound this season. Kluber entered the contest receiving a Major League-low 2.41 runs per game. Wednesday was just the fourth time in 22 starts that Kluber received more than four runs of support. He more than did his part, too, holding the Royals to a ninth-inning run in his second complete game of the season and the fifth of his career. He struck out six and walked one, allowing just five hits.
“Some of their guys wanted to have early contact, some guys were a little more patient, and it didn’t really seem like it mattered,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He had something for everything. He kept the ball on the ground. He was really in control.”
Jeremy Guthrie’s season-long struggles on the mound continued, as he allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 10 hits, a walk and three home runs in 5 1/3 innings. Following the recent acquisition of Johnny Cueto, one of the Royals’ current starters will lose their spot in the rotation, with the roles of Guthrie and Chris Young in question.
Royals manager Ned Yost said he won’t make a decision on his fifth starter until Tuesday.
“[Guthrie] was kind of classic Guthrie for the first five innings,” Yost said. “He had a lot of traffic the first two innings, but limited the damage. He settled in the third, fourth and fifth. It just kind of fell apart there in the sixth.”
With the win, the Indians snapped an eight-game home losing skid, avoiding what would have been their longest such streak since 1931.