Cleveland 7, Kansas City 2
When: 8:15 PM ET, Friday, September 30, 2016
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Greg Gibson, 1B -
Mike Estabrook, 2B -
Bill Miller, 3B -
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When Francisco Lindor doubled in the third inning, he celebrated when he reached second base.
It was time to smile as it ended an 0-for-29 skid.
Lindor homered, doubled and drove in three runs and Carlos Santana had three hits and two RBIs as the Cleveland Indians topped the Kansas City Royals 7-2 on Friday night.
The Indians are 11-5 against the Royals this season.
The offensive splurge allowed left-hander Ryan Merritt (1-0) to pick up a victory in his first major league start. Merritt went 6-1 with a 2.72 ERA in his final 10 starts with Triple-A Columbus before being recalled.
"It felt good," Lindor said of his double in a four-run fourth. "I felt even better when I looked into the dugout and everybody had their hands up. It was pretty cool. Nobody even mentioned it (the slump) to me."
In his next plate-appearance, Lindor was none too happy when Royals starter Yordano Ventura hit him with a pitch. Lindor, however, refused to answer questions about that. When he came up again in the seventh, he homered.
"That's the best way," Indians manager Terry Francona said to answer on being hit by a pitch.
Lindor blasted his 15th home run of the season and his first since Aug. 10 against left-handed reliever Brian Flynn with two runners on base in the seventh. Lindor's homer struck the left-field foul pole.
Ventura (11-12) absorbed the loss, although he struck out eight in six innings. He permitted four runs, six hits and three hits and a hit a batter.
"I think, too, the first two innings we used his fastball really well, too, so, you know, his secondary pitches are definitely his out pitches, but you still have to use his fastball," Royals catcher Drew Butera said. "It's just one of those things where we just, collectively, me and him, we just, it kind of got away from us, and that's something that we talked about to work on for next year."
Drew Butera tripled in Hunter Dozier in the eighth for the final Kansas City run.
The Indians sent eight men to the plate in a four-run third inning. Tyler Naquin led off with a single and Roberto Perez walked. Santana tripled off the center-field wall to bring both home. Jason Kipnis flied out deep enough to right to get Santana home safely.
"Carlos has been swinging the bat good and we need him," Francona said. "But to see Frankie have a little life in his bat was really good to see. I think he handled it (slump) really well. I don't anybody enjoys not getting hits."
Lindor double to right center, his first hit since a Sept. 16 single against Detroit. Jose Ramirez's two-out RBI single made it 4-1 as Ventura threw 27 pitches in the inning.
The Royals grouped three hits in the first inning against Merritt but converted it into only one run. Royals manager Ned Yost compared Merritt to Royals left-hander Jason Vargas.
"You know, 87 to, you know, 89, 90 miles an hour. Little cutter, curveball, nice changeup," Yost said. "I thought he threw the ball well."
Billy Burns opened with a broken-bat single to left. Whit Merrifield bunted Burns over to second. Eric Hosmer grounded a single to right, scoring Merrifield for his 104th RBI. After Kendrys Morales laced a single to center, Merritt punctually prevented further damage when Paulo Orlando rolled into a double play.
Merritt retired the next 13 batters after Morales' single and was replaced by Dan Otero to start the sixth. He allowed one run and three hits, struck out four and didn't allow a walk.
NOTES: RHP Carlos Carrasco is finished for the year after the Indians put him on the 60-day disabled list Friday with a fractured fifth metacarpal on his right hand. He was injured when struck by a line drive on Sept. 9. ... The Indians activated C Yan Gomes from the DL. Gomes suffered a fractured right wrist when hit by a pitch Sept. 14 while rehabbing with Triple-A Columbus. He caught the final three innings Friday. ... Royals DH Kendrys Morales, who left the game Thursday when he was running a mild fever, was back in the lineup Friday. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber, who is nursing a strained quadriceps, threw long toss before the game. ... Hunter Dozier made his fifth start in right field, although he played mostly third base in the minors with the Royals. ... Indians RHP Trevor Bauer and Royals RHP Edinson Volquez are the Saturday probables.
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