Cleveland took advantage of a crucial first inning error, scoring four runs and putting the Royals in a hole they could not recover from in the Indians’ 7-4 win at Cleveland Stadium.
Kansas City actually took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Joe Keough started the game with a walk, and with two outs, Joe Foy homered off Indians starter Gary Boyd. A walk and a double later, and Mike Paul replaced Boyd. He walked Ellie Rodriguez, but Jerry Adair was picked off second to end the inning.
Royals starter Wally Bunker could not keep the lead, although he was hurt by his defense. With one out, Lou Klimchock singled and took second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Frank Baker singled to cut the KC lead to 2-1. Ken Harrelson drew a walk. Duke Sims hit a popup in foul territory, but third baseman Paul Schaal dropped it. Given a reprieve, Sims belted a three-run home run for a 4-2 lead.
The Indians added a run in the third on three straight singles, then scored two in the fifth off reliever Galen Cisco.
Down 7-2, the Royals rallied in the seventh. Paul was still in the game, having allowed just four singles since entering the game in the first inning. But Keough led off the inning with a walk, and Schaal followed with a double. Mike Fiore hit a sacrifice fly. But the Royals could not keep it going. Paul gave way to Stan Williams, who got the last two outs to keep the score 7-3.
Kansas City had one more chance in the ninth. With Williams still on the mound, Fiore drew a one-out walk. Foy hit a grounder that Williams couldn’t handle, and the Royals had the tying run at the plate. With two outs, Adair singled for one run, and Rodriguez walked to load the bases. But Jackie Hernandez hit a popup to end the game.
The loss dropped the Royals to 44-66 on the season. They were in fourth place in the AL West, 23 games behind Minnesota.
Box score and play-by-play: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE196908080.shtml
Today’s birthdays: Jeremy Hill (1977), Alexis Gomez (1978), Blake Wood (1985)