Bobby Bradley hit a walk-off home run in the ninth inning as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Kansas City Royals 2-1 Friday night.
It was the second straight walk-off win for Cleveland.
James Karinchak (6-2) earned the victory. Jake Brentz (2-2) took the loss.
The Indians blew a big chance in the eighth. They had Cesar Hernandez on first and Daniel Johnson on third with no outs. Amed Rosario hit a ball to shortstop Nicky Lopez, who threw home. Catcher Salvador Perez chased Johnson back to third where Hernandez was waiting. Perez tagged Hernandez and Johnson with both on the bag, leading to Hernandez being called out. But Johnson strayed off the bag and was tagged out.
Both starters were stellar. Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie, who came into the game with a 6.38 ERA, had not pitched in the majors since June 12. Walks had been an issue, as he had issued 39 in 42 1/3 innings. On Friday, he allowed just one hit in seven innings, his longest career outing. More importantly for the Indians, he walked just one and struck out nine.
Brad Keller came in with a 6.39 ERA. But the Royals opening day starter looked the part, retiring 13 Indians batters in a row at one point. He finished with one run allowed on four hits in 7 2/3 innings, the longest outing by a Royals starter this season. He had a season-high nine strikeouts, one shy of his career best, which also happened against the Indians.
After six innings, each team had just one hit, and both starters had struck out eight. McKenzie had thrown 76 pitches and Keller had tossed 87.
The Indians got the run off of Keller in the second. After a nine-pitch first, Keller walked the first two batters in the second. Oscar Mercado lined out to right, sending Franmil Reyes to third. Reyes scored when Bradley Zimmer singled to left.
All the stellar starting pitching went for naught when Jorge Soler homered off Emmanuel Clase with one out in the eighth. Soler had gone almost a month since his last home run.
–Field Level Media