KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Francisco Lindor broke up Kansas City's no-hit bid with a bunt single off reliever Ryan Madson leading off the seventh inning, and the AL Central champion Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 3-0 Sunday with a five-pitcher two-hitter, but while the win was exciting for fans, Royals pitcher Chris Young did not stay at the ballpark to celebrate with fans.
Young (11-6), making his first start since July 28 after nearly two months in the bullpen, pitched five hitless innings. He allowed one walk, struck out two and threw 68 pitches all just one day after his father, Charles Young, died.
Young left Kauffman stadium immediately after the game and hopped on a plane to Texas to be with his family.
"Chris was adamant that he wanted to pitch today," Royals manager Ned Yost said in a postgame news conference. "To throw five innings of no-hit baseball was unbelievable."
"Last night my dad, Charles Young, passed away at the age of 70," Young wrote in a note that was read during the postgame news conference. "Today, I had the opportunity to honor him, playing a game we both love alongside my baseball family. I felt him next to me with every pitch. I am grateful for the support of my teammates, coaches and the entire Royals' organization during this difficult time. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers."
Teammates of Young also expressed their condolences for the right-hander.
"Our hearts go out to him and his family," center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "Definitely an emotional game for him. For him to come out and pitch the way he did was definitely impressive."
"For him to even show up and give the effort he did today describes the type of person he is," first baseman Eric Hosmer said.
"Just after he got out taken out of the game I came up here and gave him a hug," third baseman Mike Moustaka, who recently lost his mother, said. "You know, the way he went out and did what he did today is unbelievable. It's a special performance."
"[Young] set the ultimate example on how to be a great teammate today," pitcher Danny Duffy said. "Family is No. 1 to all of us in this clubhouse. Our thoughts and prayers will go out to him for quite some time."
Duffy struck out two in a perfect sixth for the Royals, who already have clinched their first division title in 30 years.
On the first pitch from reliever Ryan Madson, who was pitching from the stretch, Lindor laid down a bunt that third baseman Mike Moustakas, who was playing back, picked up with his bare hand about 40 feet from home plate. Moustakas' one-hop throw to first was not nearly in time.
The Indians fell four games behind Houston for the AL's second wild card with eight games left.