Indians Avoid Sweep in KC with Seven-Hit Shutout; Indians 8, Royals 0

A rain delay of nearly two hours could not slow down the bats of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday as they scored four runs before rain and lightning hit and added four more when play resumed to defeat the Kansas City Royals by an 8-0 final from Kauffman Stadium.

After dropping each of the first two games of their series against the Royals, the Indians were able to get the bats going and received a united effort from the bullpen after weather knocked out the day’s starter, Trevor Bauer, after just an inning and two-thirds on the mound.

The Indians had given their starter a big lead to work with after plating four in the top of the second against rookie left-hander Eric Skoglund, making his second Major League start after working six and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball against the Detroit Tigers in his debut effort. Edwin Encarnacion got the inning started with a single to center and he moved up to second on a one-out walk from Austin Jackson. After a strikeout by Bradley Zimmer, Roberto Perez delivered the rare hit this season with a two-run double to left, knocking in both Encarnacion and Jackson to make it 2-0. A walk by Jason Kipnis kept the inning alive and Daniel Robertson got the team’s second two-run double of the inning with a liner to right before being caught between second and third to end the frame.

Kipnis - Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Kipnis – Ed Zurga/Getty Images

With two on and two outs in the second, the rains came, ending both starters’ outings.

Dan Otero took the mound for the Indians when play resumed and got out of the two-on, two-out jam left by Bauer to start two and one-third innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball from the right-hander.

The Indians, meanwhile, padded their lead as each of the first four men reached in the fourth. Jose Ramirez singled, but was thrown out trying to score from first on a double off of the base of the wall in left by Jackson. Back-to-back walks by Zimmer and Perez loaded the bases for Kipnis, who lifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it a 5-0 game. A single from Robertson drove home another as the Indians held a six-run advantage and knocked out reliever Travis Wood.

Jackson factored in the scoring again in the fifth as the Indians tacked on another. Carlos Santana walked and moved to second one out later on a single by Ramirez. Jackson grounded into a force at second, but the throw to first to complete the double play was wide of first baseman Eric Hosmer, allowing Santana to motor home with the seventh run of the afternoon.

Kipnis got his second RBI of the game with one down in the sixth, sending a long home run into the fountains in right-center off of Chris Young.

Zach McAllister, Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller, and Cody Allen all got in work as the Indians used five relievers to spell Bauer and complete the game with seven strikeouts, one walk, and five hits allowed. Otero earned the win, his first since last season.

The Indians moved to 29-26 on the season and 17-12 on the road this season. They have lost two of their three series with the Royals (24-31) this season, posting a 4-5 record record them while outscoring KC, 34-32.

Robertson - Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Robertson – Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Robertson was 2-for-5 at the plate and drove in three in what could be his last game with the club, as Lonnie Chisenhall completed his second rehab appearance and is expected to join the Indians in Denver on Monday in advance of their series with the Colorado Rockies.

Kipnis and Jackson both scored a pair of runs and Kipnis drove in two more while also hitting his seventh homer since taking over the leadoff spot in the lineup.

Whit Merrifield had three of the Royals’ seven hits on the day to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest in the American League this season and the longest by a Royal since Alex Gordon hit in 19 straight in 2011.

The Indians will take Monday off before starting a brief two-game set in Colorado with the Rockies. Right-hander Mike Clevinger (2-2, 3.10 ERA) is the probable starter for the Tribe in the series opener, slated for an 8:40 PM ET start. The Rockies will call upon rookie righty Antonio Senzatela (7-2, 3.49), who has had an impressive start to his debut season for the surprise 36-23 first place Colorado club.

Photo: Ed Zurga/Getty Images

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