It took nearly the entire season, but the Cleveland Indians are finally above the .500 mark as they with a 9-5 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
The win allows the Tribe to keep pace with Houston, Minnesota, and Los Angeles, who were all victorious in their games. The Indians (77-76) have not been a club with a winning record since the third game of the season, April 9th.
They jumped on Royals starter Kris Medlen in the first. A single by Jason Kipnis and a double by Francisco Lindor led to a two-run triple from Carlos Santana. But early on, no leads looked safe as Ben Zobrist homered off of Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin to cut the lead in half.
Cleveland scored two more in the third, as Jose Ramirez led off the inning with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Lindor. Yan Gomes homered two batters later to make it a 4-1 game, but again, that lead was short lived as the Royals got an RBI-single from Alex Gordon to cut their deficit in half.
The Indians added two more in the fourth on a RBI-double from Ramirez. He would score on a wild pitch during the next at bat. But again, the Royals fought back, scoring two on a Salvador Perez double and another run on a single from Alcides Escobar.
The Tribe would put the game away for good in the sixth against the KC bullpen. Kipnis and Lindor each drove in runs on base hits and Santana grounded a third one in to make it a 9-5 game. The top three hitters in the Cleveland lineup combined for seven hits.
Zach McAllister, who entered in the fourth in relief of Tomlin, earned the win with an inning and a third of scoreless relief. The bullpen held the Royals hitless over the final 16 outs, allowing just one walk in that span.
W: Z. McAllister (4-4)
L: K. Medlen (5-2)
HR: B. Zobrist (13, 1st inning off Tomlin, 0 on, 0 out); Y. Gomes (12, 3rd inning off Medlen, 0 on, 2 out)
Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel