KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Corey Kluber put together another Cy Young-worthy performance before leaving with a sprained right ankle Friday night, and Jay Bruce homered twice to help the Cleveland Indians rout the Kansas City Royals 10-1 in the opener of their three-game series.
Kluber (12-3) was cruising along until there was one out in the sixth inning, and Eric Hosmer sent a grounder to the right side of the infield. Kluber winced coming off the mound to cover the bag, and manager Terry Francona and the team’s training staff quickly jogged out to the mound.
The two-time All-Star faced one more batter before Andrew Miller relieved him. Kluber allowed a homer to Brandon Moss along with five more hits, striking out four and walking one.
Jason Kipnis and Bruce took Ian Kennedy (4-9) deep in the first inning, and Bruce added a three-run shot off the Kansas City bullpen in the seventh to finish with five RBIs.
Edwin Encarnacion hit the Indians’ fourth homer of the night leading off the ninth.
Kennedy was pounded for five runs on six hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings in another forgettable night at Kauffman Stadium. It was his 15th straight winless home start dating to August 2016, breaking the Royals’ franchise record held by Mac Suzuki and Glendon Rusch.
The AL Central-leading Indians were coming off a double-header in Minnesota on Thursday night, while the chasing Royals had the day off. But it was Cleveland that looked energized in the first of 10 remaining matchups between teams that have dominated the division.
The Indians scored three times in the first inning, gave back a run on Moss’ deep shot to center in the second, then scratched out two more runs in the third to chase Kennedy.
It was Kennedy’s shortest start since going two innings at Minnesota in May.
Miller (right knee tendinitis) was activated from the DL and Indians OF Abraham Almonte was placed on the DL with a strained left hamstring. Miller entered the game 4-3 with a 1.67 ERA in 46 appearances.
Royals RHP Joakim Soria was placed on the DL with a left oblique strain and RHP Kevin McCarthy was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to take his place. Soria has a 3.96 ERA in 53 appearances.
Indians 3B Jose Ramirez got the night off after getting hit on the forearm Thursday in Minnesota. X-rays were negative and Francona expects him to play Saturday night.
Royals C Salvador Perez (right intercostal strain) took batting practice and did fielding drills before the game, and manager Ned Yost said he could return next week. He’s been on the DL since Aug. 5.
Francona wanted to boost morale in the midst of a long road-trip, especially after a doubleheader on Thursday in Minnesota. So he hired a DJ and rented a pop-a-shot basketball game, and both were waiting for his team in the visiting clubhouse. “It’s just our way of showing we appreciate and we care,” he said.
LHP Jason Vargas (14-6) goes for his career-best 15th win as the Royals continue their series with the Indians. Cleveland counters with RHP Trevor Bauer, who pitched in relief Thursday night.