The Royals smacked three home runs and Roger Nelson tossed a shutout as Kansas City snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over the Indians at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland.
Kansas City leadoff hitter Jackie Hernandez walked to start the game, but was caught stealing. That looked big when the next batter, Jerry Adair, homered off Indians starter Mike Paul. The Royals, who had scored just six runs in the previous four games, were in no position to give up runs like that.
However, Nelson worked around a single and an error in the first inning, thanks to a timely double play. Then he settled in, holding Cleveland to one hit over the next three innings.
Cleveland had a chance to tie it in the fifth, though. A leadoff single by Larry Brown and a one-out single by Max Alvis put runners on the corners. Paul hit a grounder to third, and Joe Foy alertly threw home, starting a rundown that eventually got Brown tagged out. Nelson ended the inning with another groundout, and the Royals kept their 1-0 lead.
Chuck Harrison added to the advantage with a solo home run in the seventh. Bob Oliver hit the Royals’ third homer of the game in the ninth, following a Foy single. That gave Nelson a nice cushion and he finished off the shutout with a perfect ninth inning.
For the game, Nelson scattered seven hits, all singles. He struck out five and did not walk any, a nice development for a pitcher who sometimes struggled with his control.
The win lifted the Royals to 17-20 on the season. They sat in fourth place in the AL West, five games behind Oakland.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE196905210.shtml
Today’s birthday: Mark Quinn (1974)