Lindor hits 2 HRs, 2 doubles to help Indians beat Royals 6-2
By STEVE HERRICK, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Francisco Lindor put his defensive problems behind him Saturday.
Lindor homered twice and doubled twice for his third career four-hit game to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2.
Lindor hit solo home runs in the third and seventh — raising his season total to 12 — and scored four runs. The All-Star shortstop also extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
While Lindor is putting up big numbers, his defensive problems have also made news. He’s committed eight errors, including four in the last seven games, after making 10 last season.
Lindor, who started a double play to end a potential Kansas City rally in the second, admitted he’s had a rough two weeks in the field.
“I wish I could go back in time and take those mistakes I made and help the team win that day, but it’s in the past,” he said. “I learn from those.”
Lindor made two errors on one play in New York last weekend and committed a costly error in Friday night’s 10-9 loss.
“I mean, he’s had a couple of tough games, there’s no getting around that and that’s baseball,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “Players do that, but he sure is talented.”
Both of Lindor’s home runs came batting left-handed. He homered down the right-field line off Junis in the third, tying the score at 2-all.
Lindor homered into the bleachers in left-center off Kevin McCarthy in the seventh, extending Cleveland’s lead to 5-2.
Michael Brantley had three hits, drove in two runs and broke a 2-all tie with an RBI double in the sixth. Brantley is 5 for 9 since being moved to the second spot in the order Friday.
“Brantley and Lindor are swinging the bat really well right now,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “If you make a slight deviation on your pitches, they’re going to hit the ball hard.”
Mike Clevinger (3-0) allowed two runs in 7 2/3 innings as the Indians won for just the second time in their last seven games.
Jon Jay and Jorge Soler each had three hits for Kansas City. Jakob Junis (4-3) allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Salvador Perez’s run-scoring grounder in the first put the Royals up 1-0, but Brantley’s single tied it in the bottom of the inning.
Jay and Soler had consecutive doubles with one out in the third to put Kansas City back ahead, before Lindor’s first homer tied it again.
Lindor and Brantley opened the sixth with doubles, and Yonder Alonso had an RBI single with two outs to give Cleveland a 4-2 lead.
After Lindor’s one-out homer in the seventh, Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single four batters later to push the Indians’ lead to 6-2.
Clevinger allowed eight hits, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 75 minutes. Several seagulls descended on the ballpark in the sixth inning, but quickly left the premises.
Clevinger said he received a letter from Major League Baseball on Friday, saying he’ll face a fine if he continues to wear his custom tie-dyed cleats, which also feature a bright sunflower on the outside.
The right-hander wore pink cleats Saturday with the names of his mom and wife in honor of Mother’s Day, and isn’t concerned about a possible fine.
“As long as all the ladies in my life are happy, I’m happy,” he said.
Juris, the only Royals starter with a winning record, retired eight hitters in a row going into the sixth, but couldn’t get out of the inning.
“I just couldn’t close the door,” he said “I made the pitch I wanted to Alonso, but he placed it up the middle.”
Royals: RHP Justin Grimm (lower back stiffness), who has been on the 10-day disabled list since April 24, could begin a rehab assignment next week.
Indians: RF Tyler Naquin on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The injury occurred while he was running the bases Friday. … CF Bradley Zimmer was scratched from the lineup because he’s still dealing with a bruised chest after crashing into the wall at Yankee Stadium last weekend. Zimmer has only played in one game in the last week and is still sore when swinging the bat.
Royals LHP Danny Duffy (1-4, 5.15 ERA) faces Indians RHP Corey Kluber (5-2, 2.62 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series. Kluber allowed two home runs in losing to Milwaukee in his last start, including a 433-foot shot to relief pitcher Brent Suter.